Get the Gringo
Composed By: Antonio Pinto
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the action/dark comedy Get the Gringo, Mel Gibson is a career criminal who has just scored big - a haul worth millions that will easily allow him a luxurious summer vacation. Unfortunately, things go badly for Driver as a high speed chase with the Border Patrol ends in the gringo smashing through the border wall and landing his car in Mexico, complete with a bloody body in the back seat. Driver soon finds himself in a hardcore Mexican prison learning tips on how to survive from a ten-year-old kid (Kevin Hernandez).
The musical score of Get the Gringo was composed by Brazilian composer Antonio Pinto, whose musical career began out of a curiosity for the instruments his sister's boyfriend's band played. At a young age, he learned how to play the piano, drums and guitar. Pinto also credits his sisters for his love of music and their gift of albums that would open his mind to the way he listened to music forever. According to Pinto, his professional career in music was somewhat an accident...a natural progression of events and not something he actively sought after. For someone who wasn't looking to become a composer, Pinto has been quite successful as one, creating music for City of God, Lord of War, Midnight, Behind the Sun. Senna, Witness and Snitch.
Since Get the Gringo is set primarily in Mexico, it only makes sense that Antonio Pinto would incorporate the traditional Mexican sound in the musical score for the film. Thus, the Get the Gringo Soundtrack features a musical score filled with horns, guitars and percussion that will put you right in the setting of the film. I couldn't help tapping my fingers to the upbeat music and I loved the acoustic guitar (have I mentioned how much I love a well-played guitar?) pieces. The score has an air of daring to it as if the main character is constantly on edge, fearlessly facing down a multitude of enemies.
The Get the Gringo Soundtrack also includes songs by Ten Years After and Las Fabulosos Cadillacs, which appear at the beginning of the album. 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain is a psychedelic rock piece by Ten Years After. To give you an idea of the style of music, picture the psychedelic rock of the Rolling Stones just around the end of the Vietnam War era. Padre Nuestro by Las Fabuloso Cadillacs is at once a song about God and a perfect theme for the main character of the film who has lived a long life of crime and hopes to see the sunrise on the other side of the bars...if he can survive.
I found the Get the Gringo Soundtrack to be quite an enjoyable experience. Not being a fan of Mel Gibson, I have no desire to see this film, but I also have no doubt that the music Antonio Pinto composed matches up with the visuals perfectly. I loved the traditional Mexican sound of the album and the innovative way it ends (the last track features Spanish rap). The Get the Gringo Soundtrack makes an excellent accompaniment to the film and a perfect stand alone album that any fan of good Mexican-style music will enjoy.