Get the Gringo
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (March 2013)|
|Get the Gringo|
|Directed by||Adrian Grunberg|
|Produced by||Mel Gibson
|Written by||Mel Gibson
|Music by||Antonio Pinto|
|Editing by||Steven Rosenblum|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||May 1, 2012|
|Running time||96 minutes|
Get the Gringo (also known as How I Spent My Summer Vacation) is a 2012 American action film directed by Adrian Grunberg, produced, co-written by and starring Mel Gibson. The film has received largely positive reviews, gaining an 80% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film opens with an unnamed getaway driver (Mel Gibson) and his mortally wounded accomplice fleeing from police, heading towards the Mexican border with a large amount of cash. The driver is able to crash through the border fence, whereupon he is arrested by corrupt Mexican police officers Vasquez (Mario Zaragoza) and Romero (Gerardo Teracena). The two are unable to get a name out of him, but still manage to have him incarcerated in El Pueblito prison under false charges, keeping the more than $2 million they find in the car for themselves. As one of the only Americans incarcerated there, the driver quickly becomes known as "the Gringo".
Though the Gringo is no stranger to prison, El Pueblito still proves surprising, with prisoners openly carrying handguns and in general operating more like a small ghetto than a prison. Despite the culture shock he quickly manages to work out the prison's criminal hierarchy, and is even able to steal money unnoticed from some of the prison's less reputable businesses. One of these thefts is witnessed by an unnamed kid (Kevin Hernandez) who is living with his incarcerated mother and is protected by the prison's criminals for an unstated reason. Despite being blackmailed by the Kid for cigarettes, the Gringo takes a liking to him and his mother (Dolores Heredia).
A few days later the Gringo spots the Kid stalking Javi (Daniel Giménez Cacho), leader of the crime family that runs El Pueblito, and stops him from trying to kill him. After an argument he learns why the Kid is protected: Javi has a failing liver, and the Kid is the only viable match for liver transplantation. Javi's current liver is from the Kid's father, who was killed so Javi could receive the transplant. The Gringo vows to stop the transplant from happening and to help kill Javi.
The Gringo soon attracts the attention of an employee of the American Embassy (Peter Gerety), who is clued in to the money involved by the suspicious charges and the fact that the Gringo has no fingerprints. The Gringo refuses to cooperate; the Embassy Guy investigates on his own, observing Vasquez and Romero living lives of luxury, and then making contact with two men who seem interested in finding both the money and the man who stole it.
Back at El Pueblito, the Gringo and the Kid work towards bringing down Javi, starting with stealing money from Javi's cousin Carnal (Roberto Sosa), in charge of managing real estate within the prison. The theft prompts a paranoid Carnal to attack the Kid later that evening, being confronted in turn by the Kid's Mother and then Caracas (Jesús Ochoa), Javi's brother. The Gringo arrives just in time to shoot Carnal before the latter can kill Caracas; though torn by the death of a family member, this earns Javi's grudging thanks.
Now known as somewhat reliable to Javi's organization, the Gringo approaches Caracas and tells him about the money taken by Vasquez and Romero, asking if they gave Javi his cut and claiming he only wants a small finder's fee for the information. Caracas sends two men to Vasquez' apartment, where they find employees of San Diego crime boss Frank (Peter Stormare), owner of the stolen money, torturing the two police officers. Caracas' men kill Frank's and the two police officers then leave with the money; Frank witnesses this via video chat and vows to kill Javi.
With the aid of the Embassy Guy, Frank sends six assassins into El Pueblito to kill Javi and the Gringo. This results in a large shootout in the prison between the assassins and Javi's men, with the Gringo, the Kid and his Mother narrowly avoiding harm. Knowing why the assassins are there and where the money came from, Javi asks the Gringo why he shouldn't be killed. The Gringo counters by offering to kill Frank if he gets him out of prison, pointing out that he was able to get to him once before. Javi agrees, providing the Gringo with a fake ID and transportation. After he leaves, Javi tells Caracas to ensure the Gringo is killed once Frank is dead or after 48 hours have passed, whichever comes first. He also learns from the corrupt Prison Director (Fernando Becerril) that the shootout has prompted the Mexican government to forcibly close El Pueblito, with a surprise raid coming at an unknown time in the future. Javi makes plans to perform the transplant as soon as possible.
Back in the United States, the Gringo lures Frank out of hiding by calling his lawyer (Scott Cohen) and impersonating ship building magnate Warren Kaufmann (Bob Gunton), claiming he wants to meet Frank to discuss a business deal. The Gringo places a similar call to trick Kaufmann into thinking he will be meeting Clint Eastwood and his entourage. Afterward he kills the pair of men Javi sent to follow him. The next day the Gringo arrives posing as Eastwood's personal assistant, knocks out Kaufmann in his private bathroom, then kills Frank and his lawyer with a pair of hand grenades when they arrive, leaving the building unnoticed.
In El Pueblito, the Kid's Mother is shocked to see the surgeon (Patrick Bauchau) who performed Javi's last transplant, and rushes to hide her son in a pre-arranged bolt-hole. When Javi's men find the Kid gone they torture the Mother, who refuses to reveal his location. Several hours later the torture is interrupted by the arrival of the Kid, who makes sure Javi is watching him before stabbing himself in the right abdomen. Javi's men rush the Kid to the Surgeon, who is able to stabilize the boy and notes that he narrowly missed hitting his liver. Javi orders the Surgeon to prep for the surgery that evening.
The Gringo ambushes the Embassy Guy in a hotel room in Tijuana, pressuring him for a way to get the Kid and his Mother out of El Pueblito. He is surprised when the Embassy Guy reveals both that El Pueblito is being closed down that evening, and that the transplant is happening that same evening. The Gringo takes his consulate identification and heads for El Pueblito, using it to enter the prison unnoticed among the other authorities. Numerous firefights have broken out between law enforcement and Javi's men, and the Gringo carefully makes his way through the confusion to Javi's private operating room, pulling a gun on the Surgeon just as he removes the Kid's liver.
Holding both the unconscious Javi and the Surgeon at gunpoint, the Gringo has Caracas bring the Kid's Mother, while the Surgeon re-inserts the Kid's liver. At the last minute one of the nurses pulls a gun on the Gringo, apparently in the employ of Javi, but then drops the gun when Caracas has his gun down, allowing the Gringo to kill him. The nurse, the Gringo, and the Kid's Mother load the Kid into a waiting ambulance along with the recovered cash and leave the prison, the police allowing them through after only a brief inspection.
The Gringo, a recovered Kid and his Mother head to the Federal impound yard, where the Gringo removes an additional $2 million from the vehicle's smashed-in trunk. The three are last seen at an idyllic beach cabana, the Mother and the Gringo flirting with each other, and the narrating Gringo musing that he is going to enjoy the rest of the Summer.
- Mel Gibson as Driver
- Kevin Hernandez as Kid
- Daniel Giménez Cacho as Javi
- Dolores Heredia as Kid's Mom
- Peter Stormare as Frank
- Dean Norris as Bill
- Bob Gunton as Mr. Kaufmann
- Peter Gerety as Embassy Guy
- Scott Cohen as Frank's lawyer
- Aaron Cohen as Hitman
- Patrick Bauchau as Surgeon
- Mayra Serbulo as Nurse
- Stephanie Lemelin as Frank's lawyer's secretary
- Denise Gossett as Mr. Kauffman's secretary
- Tom Schanley as Gregor
- Tenoch Huerta as Carlos
- Roberto Sosa as Carnal
- Jesús Ochoa as Caracas, Javi's brother
The script was written by Mel Gibson. The film is directed by Adrian Grunberg, who worked as a first assistant director with Gibson on Apocalypto. The film was produced by Gibson, Bruce Davey and Stacy Perskie. Executive Producers included Mark Gooder, Vicki Christianson, Ann Ruark, Len Blavatnik. Filming began in March 2010 in San Diego, Brownsville, Texas, and Veracruz, Mexico. Most of the filming took place at the Ignacio Allende Prison. Benoît Debie was the cinematographer on the film.
The film's theatrical release began in Israel in March of 2012 before reaching 22 other countries over the next six months In the UK, the film was released under its original title of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." As of the July, the film had taken in $4.5 million at the box office. The film's US premiere coincided with a ten-city, same-day tour with Mel Gibson appearing at Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Cinema with co-star Kevin Hernandez and director Adrian Grunberg on April 18, 2012. The other nine cities screened the film and received a satellite feed of the Q&A. The film did not have a regular US theatrical release instead appearing on video on demand (VOD). At the event, Gibson said of the VOD release, "We're just in a different era. Many people just like to see things in their homes....I think it's the future." The film was first publicly released exclusively through video-on-demand services in the United States. In Icon’s deal with Fox, Get the Gringo did have an exclusive preview window on DirecTV May 1st before it was released on other VOD services a month later. Its release date on Blu-ray Disc was set as July 17, 2012, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the US.
Get the Gringo has received largely positive reviews, gaining an 80% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Urban Cinefile said, "Mel Gibson is back doing what he knows, playing a flawed character with redeeming qualities who is also a resourceful tough guy."
Critic Steve Sailer of Taki's Magazine found the film "efficient, funny, quick, and thoroughly entertaining", remarking as well that "it’s far above the average 2012 film and wittily recapitulates Mel’s career."
See also 
- "Mel Gibson's 'Get the Gringo' – Coming Straight to DirecTV VDO". Deadline.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- "HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION". bbfc.co.uk. British Board of Film Classification. March 18, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- "Box office / business for Get the Gringo". IMDb.com. 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "Get the Gringo". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Details on How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Mel Gibson’s Other New Film | /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "How I Spent My Summer Vacation". screendaily.com. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- "Mel Gibson Set to Star In 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation'". FirstShowing.net. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "Get the Gringo: Film Review". Hollywoodreporter.com. 2012-04-220. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
- "Mel Gibson Takes A Summer Vacation". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "Icon Goes All In For Mel Gibson's How I Spent My Summer Vacation". CinemaBlend.com. 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- Elizabeth Day (2012-06-05). "Mel Gibson: saint and sinner | Film | The Observer". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
- "How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012) – Release dates". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- Get the Gringo. Box Office Mojo. See http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/intl/?page=&country=LB&id=_fGETTHEGRINGO01
- Villalpando, Nicole. Newsmakers: Entertainment (column). Austin American-Statesman, 18 April 2012, p. D-02.
- Horn, John. Mel Gibson's 'Get the Gringo' has a one-night theatrical run. Los Angeles Times, 19 April 2012. See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/04/mel-gibson-get-the-gringo.html
- Empireonline.com "Get The Gringo Trailer Online". empireonline.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2012-05-03. Text "Movie News" ignored (help); Text "Empire " ignored (help)
- "GET THE GRINGO Starring Mel Gibson to Be Released Straight to Video-On-Demand". Collider.com. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- "Get the Gringo". Blu-ray.com.
- Steve Sailer (October 17, 2012). "Post-Apocalypto". Taki's Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2012.