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The ‘Gringo’ Gets It

18 Jul, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

I admit I hesitated to watch Get the Gringo, starring the controversial Mel Gibson, but decided that Skinny Burrito shouldn’t ignore the quasi-Latino film.

To my surprise, I really enjoyed this action-thriller. And to my surprise, it was more Latino than some Latino films I’ve seen.

The film, which streeted July 17 from Fox, is the kind of Latino-American movie I’d like to see more of. It seamlessly blends both American and Mexican cultures, maintaining the authenticity of each.

To read about the plot and Blu-ray extras first, read my review. Otherwise, stick with me here.

Using his contacts from when he made Apocolypto, Gibson — or as my grandma used to call him, Melito — had a cast and crew of both Mexicans and Americans, which I think was key in getting the culture right.

It also helped in getting the language right. The cast spoke native Spanish or English with authentic Mexican accents. (Does anyone else get distracted by terrible accents?)

The film features a number of talented and recognizable Mexican actors: Dolores Heredia, Jesús Ochoa, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Roberto Sosa and even the luchador Blue Demon Jr.

And bilingual director and co-writer Adrian Grunberg, though American, has worked as assistant director on such films Apocalypto, Frida, Traffic, Man on Fire and Amores Perros.

What I appreciated about this film, in addition to the fun plotline, great action sequences and funny lines, is that there are no silly gringo or Mexican stereotypes. And it wasn’t brown against white. The criminals are on both sides of the border, as are the good guys.

As seen in the extras, Melito did his research — not just on assembling the right crew but also on the prison known as El Pueblito. Gibson also had the prison location cleansed by shamans before shooting, which, to me, sounds like a very Latino thing to do.


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About the Author: Angelique Flores

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