In fairness, I have not seen Get The Gringo, just the trailer. But even that two-and-half-minute experience is enough to convince me that Mel Gibson has taken the low road in the portrayal of Latinos in his latest stint as a producer and star.
Actually, the title alone is proof that Gibson is clueless about Latino culture: Most Mexicans do not call non-Hispanic whites gringos. They call them gabachos. (This blunder is no surprise. In a movie depicting life in Mexico, neither the producer, the director nor the writers are Latinos.)
Virtually every scene of the trailer depicts Mexico as a grimy place populated by people who are dirty, corrupt, dim-witted and violent. Oh, yes. There’s a sultry señorita for Mel to rescue, too. I understand the film is a comedy of sorts. (Ha, ha, ha. See how the brutal Mexican cop is slapping Mel in time to the Mexican Hat Dance? Isn’t that a riot?) But in this hyper-violent unrelenting exploitation of Mexican stereotypes, it’s Latino culture that’s both the joke and (wait for it…) the punch line.
By the way, this Mel Gibson production is going straight to DirecTV, bypassing a theatrical release. Maybe this is the wave of the future for exploitative B-movies in the 21st century.
Raul Ramos y Sanchez is the award-winning author of AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED from Grand Central Publishing. www.RaulRamos.com