How I Spent My Summer Vacation 2012

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(64) IMDb 7/10
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Mel Gibson stars in this action thriller set in a Mexican prison. Driver (Gibson) is a career criminal who crashes his car while trying to escape from the United States Border Patrol in a high-speed car chase over the US-Mexico border. With a trunk full of cash and a bleeding body on his back seat, things aren't looking good for Driver, and he soon finds himself in El Pueblito, Mexico's toughest prison, where life is especially harsh for 'gringos'. However, Driver's bid for survival is unexpectedly aided by his friendship with a 10-year-old boy (Kevin Hernandez).

Starring:
Mel Gibson, Patrick Bauchau
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 46 minutes
Starring Mel Gibson, Patrick Bauchau, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris, Zak Knutson, Stephanie Lemelin, Scott Cohen, Kevin Hernandez
Director Adrian Grunberg
Genres Drama
Studio LIONS GATE HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 24 September 2012
Main languages English
Original title Get the Gringo
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 46 minutes
Starring Mel Gibson, Patrick Bauchau, Peter Stormare, Dean Norris, Zak Knutson, Stephanie Lemelin, Scott Cohen, Kevin Hernandez
Director Adrian Grunberg
Genres Drama
Studio LIONS GATE HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 24 September 2012
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Valerie J. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Jun 2012
Format: DVD
Mel Gibson is on form as a 'career criminal' in this action movie (a.k.a Get the Gringo) set in a Mexican prison. He's a naughty lad, our lad with no name and no finger prints, and is doing time for stealing over $2 million but the police did thank him for contributing to the police fund. The prison is more like a ghetto with the inmates carrying guns, doing drugs, and there are plenty of women around, and children. But no one can get out. One child, a boy of 9 (or 10), is special. Why? Because he has the same blood type as the King Honcho in the prison and the King Honcho needs a liver transplant.

Our Mel's certainly getting a lived-in look - I think they call it character - but he's still great on screen. This was co-written and produced by him. Actually, I think he is a great director too - see Apocalypto (2006).

The humour in this movie had me cracking up with laughter but if you are a bit, well, prissy, you have to be warned that the language is strong and the violence hard-hitting. The little Mexican boy is magic. Children, don't act like this at home!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth on 28 Oct 2012
Format: DVD
Not to be confused with the rotten 1997 Rom-com of the same name, this is a decent action/adventure movie with Mel Gibson reminding us why he was once the biggest male film star in the world - oozing roguish charm and wild charisma; the supporting cast, including Kevin Hernandez as a semi-feral kid, and Dolores Heredia as the kid's mother are decent too, and the film is a high-octane experience from blistering start to slippery finish.
However, this is a very cynical movie, and there is a lot of dubious morality, with Mel's character finding closure, but at the expense of innocent bystanders who are carelessly sacrificed by his amoral crook - this is of course the nature of the beast in this context, I was just disturbed by the casual killing and general smugness exhibited by a character who is clearly supposed to have the audience on his side. A sign of the times? I don't know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jones the Film on 18 Oct 2012
Format: DVD
This script and storyline is right up Mel Gibson's street. He's perfect for the role as a wily old goat whose experience and cunning helps him cope with the tough rigours of life in a Mexican prison. In fact not just cope, but out manoeuvre the hardest of Hispanic and Gringo crimbos.

Perhaps it all falls together a little too neatly towards the end, but this is nevertheless a a fully engaging story and, in my opinion, one of Gibson's best performances to date.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andres C. Salama on 3 Sep 2012
Format: DVD
Basically blacklisted by Hollywood for his reprehensible anti-Semitic utterances, Mel Gibson has decided to continue his movie career without the support of the major film studios (this movie was not released theatrically in the United States). In Get the Gringo, this has resulted in a film with an over the top, not holds barred violence that would almost certainly have been toned down if released by a major studio.

Gibson is an American (his real name is never given in the film) who is captured by the Mexican police when he is fleeing American authorities in a car chase along the border. With two million dollars in the car. He is send to El Pueblito, a prison that seems more like a third world slum market hellhole than a place of incarceration. The prisoners live among their families in slum housing conditions, and there is a big square inside with market stands. Of course not every prisoner is equal - basically the prison is run by the top gangster Javi, the prison warden being an employee of him. While learning who's on top of whom, he makes two friends in the jail, a ten year old boy - to whom he gives a cigarette (the kind of scene unlikely to be released by a major studio) and his mother. He learns the little boy has a very important personal grudge against Javi, which helps him plot his next moves. I'm not going to tell more about the plot, but it involves very violent goings-on, including an over the top Peckimpah-style shootout in the prison plaza.

Some might criticize Gibson for making Mexico looks very bad - though nothing here shows the brutality of the present drug war there - yet the American characters are not very good either (the most likable characters in the film are Mexican, the 10 year old boy and his mother).

For its style and good storytelling (the director is Adrian Grunberg, in his movie debut; Grunberg and Gibson co-wrote), I recommend this - though it is obviously not for everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caligula II. on 13 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE MOVIE

GET THE GRINGO aka HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION (The UK title and US working title) starts out on the US side of the Mexican border with a nameless driver (Mel Gibson), his mortally wounded accomplice and 2 million dollars of stolen cash being pursued by cops. Seeing no other way out, the driver crashes his car through the border fence, where two corrupt Mexican cops are already waiting. The two Mexican cops Vasquez (Mario Zaragoza) and Romero (Gerardo Teracena) are about to hand the driver over to the US authorities but when they find the cash they decide to bag it for themselves and arrest him themselves.
The driver is incarcerated in the El Pueblito prison under false charges. As the only American inmate he becomes known as "The Gringo" and El Pueblito turns out quite differently from what he expected: the "prison" is a ghetto in which the prisoners are left pretty much on their own.
With the help of an unnamed kid (Kevin Hernandez), who lives in El Pueblito with his incarcerated mother and is protected by the criminals, the Gringo learns about how the prison functions and who the big names are.
Later, when Gringo stops the boy's assassination attempt on Javi (Daniel Giménez Cacho), the gang boss of the No. 1 crime family in El Pueblito, he finds out why the kid is protected: Javi has a failing liver, and the kid is the only viable match. Gringo intends to help the boy at any cost...

GET THE GRINGO is a solid action-thriller with a great performance by Gibson who co-wrote and co-produced the film. While nowhere near as good as Gibson's classics, the first two MAD MAX movies or the LETHAL WEAPON series, GET THE GRINGO is certainly better than most of his more recent movies.
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