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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Gringo & The Hurricane Heist

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the rowdy double-bill of Gringo and The Hurricane Heist.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
First on my agenda, Gringo.
Things go south for a pharmaceutical rep when he unwittingly runs afoul of a Mexican crime lord.
Gringo is a darkly funny outing that certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea. Filled with rough language, drug and sexual references, and up-close-and-personal violence, the story is a crazy one, though clever and sometimes more thoughtful than I expected. David Oyelowo (whose name I'll never learn to spell without looking) heads an excellent cast, striking a perfect tone for our confused and terrified titular gringo. The extraordinary Sharlto Copley shines in a small supporting role, but it's Charlize Theron who really steals the show with a sexy, foul-mouthed turn. Gringo is action packed, well crafted, and makes some surprise turns, building to a suitable and satisfying finale. It does suffer some sluggishness, but if sticking with it occasionally feels like work, the payout is worth it.
Gringo clocks in at an efficient 110 minutes and is rated R for "language throughout, violence, and sexual content."
Gringo can be a rough ride at times, but a great cast and solid story make it worth the effort. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Gringo gets seven.
Fangirl points: Alan Ruck! Yul Vazquez! Harry Treadway! A weird-but-awesome flamenco version of the Cure's Just Like Heaven over the end credits!
Next on the docket: The Hurricane Heist.
Thieves plan to use a Category 5 hurricane as cover for their attempt to steal $600 million from a US Treasury vault.
The Hurricane Heist is that rare picture that is 100% as advertised. It is, in truth, a very stupid movie; however, if you leave disappointed, it can only be due to unreasonable expectations. While it is neither as fun as Geostorm, nor as irrefutably awesome as Den of Thieves, the Hurricane Heist is just wacky enough to get away with its implausible premise and D-list cast. The obvious selling feature for this sort of film is its disaster effects, and here the quality ranges all the way from "pretty sweet" to "stuck in 1939 with The Wizard of Oz." Suffice to say the cast isn't exactly loaded with talent, and it doesn't need to be. True Blood got me used to Aussie Ryan Kwanten speaking with a southern drawl, but I was jarred incessantly by that sound coming out of Toby Kebbell's face. "Starring Maggie Grace" usually means a hard pass from me, so it's no surprise that it was difficult for me to get past her in the lead. The action is wild and the story is as goofy as you'd expect, but--while the movie definitely doesn't take itself too seriously--it's missing a certain element of fun that its wacky premise should have guaranteed.
The Hurricane Heist runs 102 minutes and is rated PG13 for "sequences of gun violence, action, destruction, language, and some suggestive material."
The Hurricane Heist is a passable couple hours of witless entertainment for those slow, waning weeks of winter. (Also I kept thinking of Justin Timberlake in The Social Network: “Drop the ‘the;’ just ‘Hurricane Heist.’ It’s cleaner.”) 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, the Hurricane Heist gets four.
Until next time...

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