Action Movie Fanatix Review: El Gringo

El Gringo

He’s Not In Acapulco Any More

Starring: Scott Adkins, Christian Slater, Yvette Yates

Director: Eduardo Rodriguez

2012  |  99 Minutes  |  Rated R

“You said one man couldn’t make a difference.  How bout a woman?” – Anna

El Gringo came out around the time Mel Gibson’s Get the Gringo came out.  Seeing as how they are similarly named and themed it is impossible to not draw a few comparisons.  The seemingly similar movies are actually quite different once viewed.

The Man (Scott Adkins) enters the Mexican town of El Fronteras with a bag full of money looking for a drink of water and a bus out of town.  He finds neither.  Instead the sheriff and his band of thugs, a local drug cartel, are constantly trying to kill The Man and steal his cash.

El Gringo packs a lot of style into its low budget.  Director Eduardo Rodriguez does an excellent job getting the most out of his lower than a Hollywood blockbuster budget.  He has a great eye for camera angles and shot quality.  This is not a quality that most DTV directors possess.  Hopefully El Gringo is a sign of great things to come from Mr. Rodriguez.

I certainly can’t talk about El Gringo without talking about The Man, Scott Adkins.  There were a few times where I swearAdkins was channeling a Mel Gibson type character.  That isn’t a slam on Adkins.  He does a very good job here and it isn’t just because of the great action scenes.  He pulls a lot of attitude into The Man without needing an eastern European accent or a big ole goatee.

El Gringo delivers action of the highest level (as you already knew when you read the name Scott Adkins on the cover).  Adkins is able to show off his martial arts a bit, but there isn’t anybody else with his certain set of skills so it usually results in him beating the shit out of guys.  There are also some really fun foot chases as a young girl repeatedly tries to steal the bag of money from The Man.  Where El Gringo really excels is the gun fights.  A lot of action directors really fall apart when they are tasked with staging an exciting gunfight but Eduardo Rodriguez shows real skill here.  One scene where The Man mows down what must have been ¾ of a Mexican gang and at one point kills three Mexicanos with one well timed shot.  Tons of fun.

And all of this action is accompanied by what seems to be all non-digital blood.  That is crazy in this day and age of pixilated blood spatter.

Another fun element is the dog that The Man frees from some Mexican thugs.  After this the dog follow The Man around for the entire remainder of the film never really helping but always following.  It plays out pretty well and is good for a few laughs along the way.

I REALLY enjoyed El Gringo.  It’s non-stop action start to finish.  There’s tons of style, some good story telling and acting and some really good comedy pieces.  El Gringo has it all.  I can’t say enough good about it.  It has some flaws but they are far overshadowed by all of the great things it has going for it.  I would highly recommend El Gringo to any action movie fan.

Note:  The back of the DVD states that Michael Jai White costars but I didn’t see him anywhere and his name isn’t in the credits at all.  Disappointing but I came for Adkins.