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August, 2014:

Get the Gringo… or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Mel Gibson at the cannes film festival

Mel Gibson at the cannes film festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Well it was bedtime at El Pueblito, but it looked like all the good pieces of dirt were taken…”


Mel Gibson has had a rough time in the past few years (after his drunken rant) despite the fact he’s an oscar winning director and one of the biggest action stars of the past few decades. So forget the Mad Max films and the Lethal Weapons and focus on the Bravehearts and Apocalyptos of this world – and look up one of his best movies you might have missed (barring Edge of Darkness).


Billed by many as the unofficial sequel to Payback Get The Gringo (or Kill The Gringo or How I Spent My Summer Vacation) is a mexican prison movie starring Mel in a tight action/drama piece that reminds us how big a star he is. After The Expendables 3 Mel might let his star shine bright again, but if you’ve passed this one up it’s well worth a viewing and seeking out.


Mel is on top form as our unnamed protagonist (“Richard Johnson” (or Dick Dick..) ) in a brilliantly paced movie that has oodles of deadpan humor among the realistic action pieces as we discover just why he’s incarcerated and how he’s going to solve his dilemma. You get the feel that this isn’t a throwaway comeback (I’m looking at you Arnie!) even if it doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. Mel Gibson knows what makes an exciting film, and perhaps more importantly understands what audiences want to see, as everything from the mariachi soundtrack through the gritty hellhole chic reminds us that exciting quality action cinema doesn’t have to be dross.


It’s the internal dialogue that makes the film. Mel Gibson’s deadpan narrative shows everything from his resignation through survival as he susses out what makes the prison tick and you can’t help but chuckle and wince in equal parts. As prison dramas go this is up there with Midnight Express if you manage to mate the darkness with the comedy, and ┬áit shows that Mel Gibson is still a force to be reckoned with – remember his hollywood “exile” was self imposed as he still largely has the comfort of being able to finance and make his own movies!