Fans of Scott Adkins will know the name of this film – El Gringo! What’s a Gringo you ask? It’s a derogatory term for a white English speaking person. So we start off with the Gringo, played by Scott Adkins, is entering Mexico with a bag that contains 2 million dollars. After his fellow DEA agents being killed and over the BS assignments that lead to no justice the Gringo, whose name we never learn, has had enough and decides to cross the border. He is heading off to start living it up, but he gets stuck in a town called El Fronteras where where he can’t get so much as a glass of water, being refused service even after offering $500 for a single glass! He’s over the attitude. On top of that people are constantly trying to steal his bag and before long he gets caught up in some action that brings attention to his bag of money. As he tries to leave town aboard the bus he constantly evades being killed or robbed by the gangs and the local sheriff, all while discovering a little more about why he is refused service in the town. Before long he is being hunted down by his former chief Lt. West, played by Christian Slater.
Everything Slowly Unravels.
As the Gringo takes the odd nap here and there, we get some insight into the operation that went wrong, leaving him with the bag of money. Although not revealed initially, we discover that he is a DEA agent and learn of his frustration in the pointlessness of his job – he wants to make a difference but ultimately concludes that ‘one man cannot make a difference’, and decides to give up and live a life of luxury – on the other side of the law. Also confusing at the beginning is the town refusing to serve Scott Adkins’ character water. As the story unfolds we learn that the towns people have been paid not to communicate with outsiders, due to the gang wanting their drug business in the town hassle free. A lot of localized history continues to reveal itself in relation to the characters and the town, making the story a little bit more interesting to watch as you go. Backed up a cool visual style – like the characters being introduced with a snapshot, or the palm trees whenever Gringo mentions where he’s going, we get a fun but slightly intriguing movie inter weaved with some exciting action.
The Action & Martial Arts
If you’re a Scott Adkins fan you may be expecting a certain type of action, but this movie is different from anything he’s done before! Long gone are the invincible moves of Boyka, and a more realistic, but still martial arts style is present behind the hand to fights and more interestingly – the gun fights. Scott Adkins has really made a martial art out of the gun fights in the movie. There’s some standard shootouts and chases, but the occasional run in and you’ll see Scott mixing up some brilliant techniques to shield himself, disarm his enemies and make difficult shots in a way that’s exciting and fun to watch. You also get to see a little hand to hand stuff but it’s over quickly complimenting the gun fights a little more. Ultimately I think this was a movie in which Scott tried to do something different, adding his own twist to the gunfights – I think it paid off! Very well done.
A pretty good action film. It’s not a straight out martial arts film in anyway, but offers a good balance different kinds of action backed up with an interesting environment and story. A movie for everyone (except kids maybe?), check it out!