How I Spent my Summer Vacation
- Director: Adrian Grunberg
- Genre: Action
- Details: US/95mins 16
Showcasing Mel Gibson's synonymous wise crackery for the first time since he bounced from the Lethal Weapon series, this ultra violent, choppy but fun action thriller proves once again that the multiple Oscar winner has lost none of his on screen charisma over the years. Gibson is great, and central to everything that works about this enjoyable flick.
Gibbo is a wrong sort, unnamed career criminal who ends up in a Mexican prison after he's caught trying to jump the boarder in a car with a couple of million dollars and dying accomplice. Swiftly thrown in a ramshackle prison that's more like a derelict holiday camp, he's quickly privy to the criminal hierarchy and corruptness of the warden. A wily sort, soon he's figured things out, but complications arise in the form of a young boy who's intrinsically linked to the gangland boss lavishly housed in the joint.
Few actors can break the fourth wall cohesively and not snap you out of the rhythm of a movie; while Gibson never actually turns and addresses the audience, his narration is all knowing and self aware with his gravelly tone perfectly setting up each carnage ridden scene. He has a face that screams "lived in" but with flashes of the matinee good looks that caused audiences to fawn over him for decades. Working with frequent collaborator (he's assisted Gibson on some of his directorial efforts) Adrian Grunberg, they've together made something both grimy and slick.
It's not without its faults of course. The final third is when the plot needs to kick in, and the film stalls a little there. The set-up is a tad convoluted, but it comes together nicely enough by the end credits. Special mention to young actor Kevin Hernandez who is excellent as the damned, but sharp kid who befriends the troubled "gringo."
If you don't take it too seriously (and ignore that awful title) there's plenty here to enjoy. Think early Robert Rodriguez filtered through Shane Black - just not THAT good.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 15:49 | Friday 11th May 2012 | Movie Review
Yeah but is he racist in it?!Posted 16:18 | Tue 8th May 2012
How I Spent My Summer Vacation sees Mel Gibson back onscreen doing what he does best - playing tough, wired and off-kilter. He plays Driver, a thief who gets caught right on the US-Mexican border. The getaway money is re-appropriated by two corrupt Mexican cops, who then throw Driver in a grubby, open-plan Mexican prison where he has to learn how to adapt in order to survive. When his boss comes looking for the missing money, a whole series of events kick in culminating in some well-staged and often humourous set-pieces. Given his recent headline-making offscreen behaviour, it's easy to forget what a good actor Gibson is and it wouldn't be amiss for audiences to cut him some slack. He's very good here in a sweaty, gritty cross-border action film that takes some strange turns here and there. It's an odd film at times and the plot seems somewhat unlikely. Gibson even does a not-very-convincing impression of Clint Eastwood in one scene. Maybe he should have got a lesson or two from Kurt Russell. Worth a look.Posted 22:59 | Fri 11th May 2012
Yes it is worth a look but that's about it as by the time you wake up tomorrow you will have forgotten it. Mel is the usual tough guy but for an American stuck in a Mexican prison he doesn't seem to get to much of a hard time from the locals. If you want a good story this isn't it and to be honest it ain't that good in the action stakes either but it'll pass an hour and a half for you. Better to wait for it on DVD rentel.Posted 11:50 | Tue 15th May 2012
The prison ?? wouldn't mind being stuck in there :P, the film was good.. worth the watch!!Posted 15:55 | Sat 9th Jun 2012
Very much worth a look. Suspend your disbelief here and there and enjoy the romp. Gibson is great and i for one am glad he is back on form.Posted 16:17 | Thu 17th May 2012
I enjoyed it . There is a lot going on, and it is happening at a fast pace . Very good reallyPosted 17:46 | Mon 11th Jun 2012
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