Tuesday, 25 March 2014

El Gringo (2012)




















One of many straight to DVD films that Scott Adkins has churned out in between the odd big movie. This film seems to have gone down a few routes here, firstly its clearly a nod to classic Clint Eastwood 'the man with no name' films, there is a strong Mexican style spaghetti western vibe here. Secondly its clearly a Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez wannabe flick, the editing and general style is obvious. Thirdly it could be seen as a film project by Adkins to try and prove he's up and ready for a role in the next violent Tarantino/Rodriguez flick, cast me! cast me!. And lastly it might just be a simple homage to all of the above, but I doubt that, riding on the coattails probably.

In all honesty its not a bad film but its not good either. We spend the first ten minutes of the film watching Adkins trying to get a drink of water from all the local oddballs in town. Then we spend another ten minutes or so watching this really annoying young girl trying to steal Adkins bag of cash. This happens not once but numerous times, its annoying, time wasting, for Christ's sake just look after your flippin' bag dude!.


Most of the film is forgettable except for one gun battle sequence slap bang in the middle. I can't deny I was impressed with this, it was awesome! spectacular in its bloody bullets to the head violence. A touch of kickboxing from Adkins but mainly a rollicking gun fest as he pops bullets in a stream of bad guys whilst running around tight squalid alleyways. It is a real adrenaline rush I kid you not, lots of bloody squibs and absurdity as he takes out blokes with a shotgun that are well out of range I'm sure. The whole sequence plays out like a Call of Duty online game actually, visually it has that frantic wham-bam feel plus Adkins goes around picking up weapons from guys he's just taken out, one after another.

The other COD inspiration if you ask me is that all the bad guys have this gangland warpaint on their faces in the form of a simple skull motif. Their faces are white with black around the eyes and cheekbones giving that COD: Ghosts appearance. The main bad guy looks the best of course, he also looks like a young Raul Julia too.

It is a bit of a shameful artistic and stylistic rip off from various other sources but it still manages to hold together. Adkins isn't the best actor on the block by any means but he's a good action star as we know and his fights get more impressive with each film. The finale to this film is pretty damn awful I won't lie, it builds up to something massive but ends up a wet squib, very disappointing. Other than that I recommend watching for the gun battle midway through, its worth it, just try not to have an epileptic fit with all the flashy quickfire cuts and editing.

5/10