Interesting Plot Elements
»
»
Putting aside Mel Gibson's offscreen politics, speeches, and behaviors for a moment...

As a film, Get the Gringo has some interesting settings, and plot elements. "Quick Thinking Under Duress" films can be quite entertaining, and this is a decent example of that genre. Filmed in an actual recently retired Mexican "h-hole" prison, you watch how a career criminal from another country thrown into it attempts many schemes to try to survive a situation few could endure.

Comparing to The Shawshank Redemption - Both main characters generate many interesting "multi-layered plans". However, this one starts out with a person quite experienced in inventing and running scams, quickly taking advantage of any momentary opportunity to advance himself, and planning ahead. (Shawshank started out with a "fish out of water" character that has to learn to adapt his outside qualities to the system.)

Some of the attempted schemes in "Gringo" are definitely unique to the genre. Given the seriousness of the setting, his attitude and fast thinking provides decent entertainment value, and some good laughs. Although he establishes early that he is a good fast talker, you still have to wonder how the Gringo will possibly get away with, or survive some of the situations. For example - Starting out the film with an attempt to rob a top criminal boss is not something you'd expect most smart people would attempt, nor be very good for their longevity if pinned down in a prison where you may run into an associate of theirs.

The bonus footage includes talks about the filming, and a bit about the Mexican prison system. Warning - As expected in an "explicit prison movie", there are a large number of violent acts involving knives, guns, deadly explosions, blood, torture for information, and even a subplot about potential organ theft. So IMO this is definitely mature fare, and not appropriate for young children.

All in all, an interesting DVD. Though I definitely enjoyed Shawshank more, I'll still give Get the Gringo a 4 out of 5.