Lackluster, incoherent pulp

A mild-mannered businessman (David Oyelowo – Selma) visiting a highly dodgy Mexican town must deal with drug dealers, mercenaries, the DEA, several sets of kidnappers and his own crooked business partners (Joel Edgerton & Charlize Theron). His solution is to fake his own kidnapping in an effort to cash in on the company’s insurance policy for such eventualities. 

It’s a kind of fun dark comedy, but only kind of. The plot is thin, the characters are undeveloped, the direction (by Joel’s brother Nash Edgerton, an apparent Tarantino/Coen wannabe) is often incoherent, with numerous plot twists merely for the sake of plot twists, and the pacing, making frequent use of flashbacks, is strange at best. 

On the plus side, Oyelowo shows some surprising comic chops, and Theron’s unhinged performance is a delight. Also Sharlto Copely and Amanda Feyfried.

February 7 (111 min)