Mel Gibson may be pretty much persona non grata in Hollywood these days, but he still manages to get movies made somehow, and while GET THE GRINGO, which Gibson produced, co-wrote, and stars in, appears to have gone straight to DVD, it's actually a pretty good action film. I'd never even heard of it when Livia brought it home from Redbox, so it was overlooked as far as I'm concerned.
Gibson plays an American criminal who escapes over the border into
with several million dollars in stolen loot. Unfortunately, he escapes by crashing his car through the border fence and is immediately captured by Mexican police, who take the money for themselves and make sure Gibson's character disappears into the Mexican judicial system. He winds up in a huge prison in Mexico where the inmates' families live with them, creating a sort of enclosed community. Corruption and violence run rampant, of course. Gibson befriends a ten-year-old boy whose late father was one of the inmates and who is being kept there, along with his mother, by the criminal kingpin who actually runs the prison. Tijuana
The plot takes a lot of twists and turns along the way, and several things that are mentioned in passing wind up paying off much later, which is a technique I really like. As you might expect, GET THE GRINGO is a very gritty film, with lots of bloody violence and a ton of cussing, but it all works in context and builds up to an effective ending. It's a good movie, one you might have easily overlooked, too, and is worth watching.