critics, a controversy has been raging tepidly
over what purpose reviewing might hold in this age of crowdsourcing.
Why rely upon one fallible pundit’s thumbs up or thumbs down
when you can access the wisdom
of crowds by averaging dozens of ratings, whether elite or mass?
As a 21st-century
movie reviewer, I’ve always found this catcall hard to dismiss,
which is why I try to only write about movies where I can explain
something more interesting than whether I liked it or not. While
I take a backseat to no one in admiration of my own taste, I have
to admit that the aggregation sites are reasonably reliable.
Gibson’s new crime movie Get
the Gringo, which debuted in Israeli theaters back in March
but is finally out now on Netflix
and DVD here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Mel plays a California bank robber similar to his tough-guy character
in 1999’s Payback.
With a car full of cash, he makes a run for the Mexican border like
O. J., only to find a large fence has recently been erected. After
crashing through, he’s sentenced to Tijuana’s hilariously
Pueblito prison, a pre-apocalyptic wasteland reminiscent of
the free-market dystopia in Mel’s Mad
Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Gibson is almost the only figure in Hollywood engaging imaginatively
with a vast topic of ever-growing importance in American life: Mexico.”
Gringo enjoys a solid 80% positive rating among 51 critics
on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1 score from over 30,000 viewers on IMDb.com.
seem right to me. Get the Gringo is efficient, funny, quick,
and thoroughly entertaining. It’s not quite Lethal
Weapon or Road
Warrior, but it’s far above the average 2012 film
and wittily recapitulates Mel’s career.
the point of reviewing competent commercial films such as Get
Well, who else
is writing about it? A glance at its Rotten
Tomatoes page shows that Get the Gringo has not been
reviewed by any “Top Critics” outside of the two trade
In other words,
Gibson has been more or less blacklisted by the media.
As you may
recall from the dozens of documentaries about the horrors of Hollywood
refusing to work with communists during the 1950s, blacklisting
is the worst sin imaginable. But this is totally the opposite
of the bad kind of blacklisting because, you see, Gibson is not
Which I guess
is too bad, because Mel Gibson is almost the only figure in Hollywood
engaging imaginatively with a vast topic of ever-growing importance
in American life: Mexico.
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© 2012 Taki's