Gibson's After Payback Again

Mel Gibson in Get the Gringo (2012) (aka: How I Spent My Summer Vacation)

After crashing through the Mexican border with the American police hot on his tail, Driver (Mel Gibson) finds himself being picked up by a corrupt Mexican cop who on seeing a bag crammed full of cash on the back seat throws him in a prison known as 'El Pueblito'. More like a Mexican ghetto than a prison Driver soon realises that gangs run the place rather than the authorities as he makes friends with a young kid (Kevin Hernandez) who is living with his mother (Dolores Heredia) in the prison. But the kid is special and soon Driver feels a need to protect both him and his mother whilst also sorting out all the corrupt gangs and officials.

"Get the Gringo" or "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" as it is also known is Mel Gibson returning to do what we love him for, playing the sarcastic tough guy with that edge of crazy about him. But on top of some good old fashioned Mel Gibson action fun we also have a modern take on the "Man With No Name" as not only is Gibson purely known as Driver, in reference to him being the getaway driver, but he is the mysterious man who enters a town and tries to help out the innocent mother and child by playing off the bad people against each other, but in this case the town is swapped for a prison ghetto.

Kevin Hernandez in Get the Gringo (2012) (aka: How I Spent My Summer Vacation)

Now I do wonder how much fact and fiction there is to this prison ghetto which is as much the star of the movie as Gibson is. I don't mean whether or not there is a prison where the prisoners live in what amounts to a small community with its own rules and shops. Nope I am on about elements such as the prisoners forced to sift through the rubbish to salvage anything saleable such as syringes. It is a fabulously creative setting which keeps on giving and making you laugh because of the detail but at times causes you to think and question.

But then you also have Mel Gibson and it is close to the Mel Gibson who we loved when it came to crazy characters in action movies. In fact whilst he is less crazy and more smart cookie this version of Gibson as an action hero is even more enjoyable. Plus with Gibson playing his version of a man with no name it is double the fun with that mix of bad guy and good guy making him entertaining. Although it has to be said that when it comes to the violence in "Get the Gringo" and not just the violence from Gibson it is more brutal than you might expect with good editing making it feel all the more harsher.

In truth whilst we are served up a story which is a take on the "Man With No Name" western as Driver tries to help a kid and his mother by playing off the various bad guys whilst also getting his money back which in turn leads to it becoming even more contrived it is of less importance than the interesting setting and Gibson doing what he does best. But that doesn't mean the storyline isn't interesting it just lacks the spark of creativity to make it stand out.

What this all boils down to is that if you became a fan of Mel Gibson when he played crazy action sort of characters then "Get the Gringo" will be right up your street. It isn't by any means Gibson at his best but with an imaginative setting and a convoluted plot it is a lot of fun.

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