The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Get The Gringo aka How I Spent My Summer Vacation | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Get The Gringo aka How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Directed by: Adrian Grunberg
Starring: Mel Gibson, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris, Kevin Hernandez

An American criminal struggles to survive in a huge open air Mexican prison facility.

As if to make a point, Gibson's latest sees him working under a (presumably) Jewish director. Tellingly though there are very few American actors sharing the screen with the troublesome Aussie here. Like a wanted man he has fled south of the border in an attempt to resuscitate his career. This movie won't do him any favors, it's dull in the extreme.
I can't think of a more terrifying prospect than spending time in a Mexican jail but the prison portrayed here is like a holiday camp. I suspect in real life a "gringo" wouldn't have time to hang a Rita Hayworth poster in his cell before finding a knife in his back. Gibson somehow seems able to run around causing trouble despite sticking out like a sore thumb as the only Anglo-Saxon in the place. 
Grunberg was Gibson's cameraman on "Apocalypto" but making the move to director may not have been a wise career choice. The movie feels thrown together and directionless, but Grunberg would probably say he wanted to evoke a documentary look. Personally I prefer my movies to actually look like movies. This is the latest large scale production shot on a Red One camera. For those of you who aren't sad obsessives like me, the Red One is repeatedly touted as a digital camera that finally rivals film for quality. Pull the other one. Every movie I've seen shot with this camera ends up resembling a porn. It handles motion terribly, the slightest bit of onscreen movement results in a nauseating blurring effect. A movie which features as much running around by actors and cameramen as this becomes near unwatchable at points. Filmas a format is sadly extinct now because Hollywood wants to save money. I just wish they could be honest about this instead of trying to convince us digital is a technically better format. They killed film for the same reason they killed Technicolor, to cut down budgets. "Don't piss down our backs and tell us it's raining" to quote Josey Wales.
Personally I like Gibson. Not as a human being obviously, but as a screen presence and a film-maker I think he has something to offer. In my dream world Hollywood is still churning out westerns and Gibson is the new John Wayne. Perhaps he needs to travel further south, back home to Australia, a country which currently has a far more interesting film industry than the U.S.