Movie review – Gibson goes to Mexico

2012-10-06 10:44

Film: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Nu Metro)
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Featuring: Mel Gibson, Kevin Hernandez, Daniel Giménez Cacho and Dolores Heredia
Rating: 6/10

There’s a really good reason to ignore celebrity gossip magazines.

They mar the experience of watching movies.

Take Mel Gibson.

Thanks to the tabloids, we all know he’s a crazy abusive bigot, which makes watching him play a hero – albeit a dubious one – hard to swallow.

Movies are about escapism, entering another world, a world where the impossible is possible, where those who do wrong are punished and the hero is righteous.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation ticks all these action movie boxes. But you are going to have to try to forget Gibson’s real-life excesses to root for his character.

Perhaps this is why there’s a young boy for him to shield.

Gibson is Driver, a career criminal who winds up in a Mexican jail.

But wipe visions of prison scenes from the likes of The Shawshank Redemption from your mind.

This jail is like a throbbing shantytown where anything goes and is run by a ruthless criminal among slightly less ruthless criminals.

Javi (Daniel Giménez Cacho) runs the place with the help of his brothers and cousins, but there is one family that remains untouched – The Kid (Kevin Hernandez) and his mother (Dolores Heredia).

When Driver finds out why – the boy is an organ donor match for Javi – he uses the boy’s untouchable status to create a power base in the jail and to find a way out.

It is an engaging action film with ridiculous set pieces, like the opening car chase, which sets the over-the-top, one-man-against-the-world tone of the film.

For director Adrian Grunberg this is his first movie as head honcho, but he has plenty of solid experience as an assistant director, which he puts to good use.

The film is violent, far-fetched and stars a guy who is hard to like, yet I quite enjoyed it.

It will do the job if you are after some brain candyfloss with the added feel-good factor of the baddies getting what they deserve – with the exception of Gibson’s character who, as expected, comes out tops.

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