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Personally I had a very good time watching this movie, but it seems
like I'm one of the few. I don't know why, but the voters on this
website always seem to hate comedies if they aren't from the hand of
some cult-director. Does a movie always have to be a great drama or an
exciting thriller? Not if you ask me, but I'm only one of many over
here of course.
It's true, the movie is a little chaotic from time to time. It isn't an overproduced Hollywood movie that takes itself too serious and that's exactly where its charm is in it for me. I loved to see Brad Pitt as the clumsy criminal who always is able to do something wrong. The same for Julia Roberts as his hysterical girlfriend and James Gandolfini as the gay hit man who has kidnapped her.
I know, it's not done to say that you liked to see Julia Roberts play a certain role and Brad Pitt can never be good as a comical actor... Well, perhaps it is time for some people to broaden their minds. Don't believe what everybody says, watch it for yourself and form your own opinion. I liked it and I give it an 8/10.
I'm genuinely surprised at the number of people who disliked this
movie. Perhaps because it was a bit disjointed, chaotic, uneven,
unpredictable and even incoherent at times. And that's just why I loved
it. It's life. Yes, it's the crazy, seedy, shady lives of these people
(the main characters being Pitt's and Roberts' characters), but at
least it's honest... and darned funny. I thought the self-deprecating
jabs at how most Gringos view Mexico/Mexicans were priceless. Raul!!
The grainy flashbacks had my sides splitting.
People, this is a classic melodrama told in today's yucky, dirty, gritty, ugly times. A beautiful (if you look closely) story that doesn't take it self seriously at all. This is anything but formula Hollywood hype. It is a genius inside-joke that sandbagged most of the people hoping to come out and see a Pitt/Roberts version of Sleeping in Seattle or some similar chick-flick dreck.
When is enough enough? Never.
A couple working on the give-and-take aspects of their relationship, an exquisitely crafted antique pistol with something of a diverse history and some questions concerning who is working for whom, all figure prominently in `The Mexican,' a black comedy directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. Jerry Welbach (Pitt), a somewhat less than astute young fellow in thrall to a criminal currently incarcerated, is given a seemingly simply assignment: He is to go to Mexico, where he will rendezvous at a bar in a small town, at which time he will take possession of an invaluable hand-made pistol; he will then transport the item to the States and deliver it to his boss. But there's a problem; his girlfriend, Samantha (Roberts) expects to go to Las Vegas at the same time, and their plans were already made and set in stone. So what is a guy to do? After Sam throws him out of their apartment and Jerry tries to explain-- in a memorable scene with her on the second story balcony, he on the ground looking up-- that if he doesn't do this job they will, well, KILL him, it doesn't make any difference. After all, their trip to Vegas had already been planned, and he promised it would happen. Talk about a guy between a rock and a hard place. And it's only the beginning of a dark comedy of errors and circumstances that ultimately involves them with some double dealings and brings them into contact with a psychotic killer named Leroy (James Gandolfini). Director Verbinski lends a nice touch to the movie, eliciting noteworthy performances from his actors and establishing early on his method of using specific landmarks-- a traffic signal and a cross-roads in the middle of nowhere, for example-- that give context and definition to what is happening, sometimes off-screen (as in the opening scene, when you only `hear' a traffic accident that becomes a pivotal part of the story). He avoids slapstick and plays up the natural, subtle humor that drives the film. The characters are well drawn and the dialogue is clever and witty (`You Forrest Gumped' your way through this...') and often very droll. And he maintains a pace and develops an atmosphere in which the unexpected can be expected that keeps it all moving along nicely and right on track. And there's a politically incorrect sensibility to the movie that is refreshing to see; in real life certain situations and cultures that are foreign to us are often viewed in stereotypical terms, so there is no reason to portray it otherwise in a film, especially when care has been taken to present it in an inoffensive manner, as it is here. Taking on a decidedly unglamorous role, Roberts nevertheless creates a lively character with Sam, imbuing her with plenty of spunk and, of course, that trademark smile. It's not a part that calls for a lot of depth, but she makes Sam likable and fun to watch, and she makes her banter with Jerry and Leroy credible and engaging. Credit goes to Pitt, as well, for making the most of what is actually a leading man/character role; Jerry isn't the sharpest tool in the shed and he may be easily distracted, but-- like Sam-- he's not without some natural charm that makes him quite personable and interesting. And there is a chemistry between the two that makes their relationship believable, especially when the sparks are flying. Gandolfini, meanwhile, not to be outdone by his charismatic co-stars, makes an indelible mark as the sensitive, psychotic killer who turns out to be something of an enigma. The supporting cast includes Bob Balaban (Nalin), David Krumholtz (Beck), Luis Felipe Tovar (Luis) and Gene Hackman (Margolis). A lively romp that takes some unexpected turns, `The Mexican' has a dark side, but manages to remain uplifting and thoroughly entertaining. There's a natural flow to the film and the laughs, generated by both the situations and the characters, are never forced but prompted, rather, by the spontaneity of it all. It's a movie that never pretends to be anything other than what it is, which is pure entertainment. It'll leave you with a smile on your face, some chuckles and some great lines to quote. And that, my friends, is the magic of the movies. I rate this one 8/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE MEXICAN / (2001) *** (out of four
The title of Gore Verbinski's new romantic comedy adventure refers to the name of an extraordinarily valuable but cursed pistol possessed by a young man living in urban Mexico. Brad Pitt stars as Jerry Welbach, an errand boy forced to work for a local mob boss (Bob Balanban) after accidentally causing a powerful kingpin named Margolis (Gene Hackman) to be sent to jail. His "last" job is to go to Mexico and retrieve "The Mexican" and its beholder. Jerry's spiteful girlfriend, Samantha (Julia Roberts), wants Jerry to keep his promise about traveling to Las Vegas with her, but she does not realize that he can either accomplish this task or be killed. Since Samantha is such an understanding lover, she packs her bags and heads to Vegas alone, dumping her "selfish" long time boyfriend. Unfortunately for her, she is in the middle of a complicated situation whether she likes it or not. While traveling to her destination, Samantha is almost killed by a hitman (Sherman Augustus), but saved by another cold-blooded killer named Leroy (James Gandolfini), who has been assigned to kidnap her just in case Jerry gets any deceptive ideas while on his journey.
Once in Mexico, Jerry locates the person and the pistol, but things go terribly wrong when the man is accidentally killed and several locals steal his transportation. Becoming suspicious, Jerry's accomplice, Ted (J.K. Simmons), is sent to find Jerry and declare the rising stakes at hand. Meanwhile, Samantha and Leroy become emotionally candid and share useful information of their past experiences involving love. While Leroy is a homosexual, he still lusts for romantic fulfillment, as the sentimental killer gives Samantha some advice of her own.
"The Mexican" is not really a romantic comedy like many audiences will expect; it is a somewhat coarse, violent adventure with undertones dealing with forgiveness and the strength of love. Actually, the relationship between the characters of Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts is quite trite. Except for the third act, whenever on screen together, the two characters do nothing but bitterly argue and fight. The performances keep the romance alive; clearly Pitt and Roberts are the right choices for the parts. Brad Pitt progresses into a somewhat comedic role, and he often struggles with it. But I certainly thought his performance was funny. He gives his character the perfect amount of charm and sweetness. Julia Roberts is a little annoying but puts an effective edge in her character. We actually end up caring about both of their fates.
There are a lot of little things to like in "The Mexican" like the scenes in a Mexican bar, shuttered with a dark atmosphere and authentic cinematography by Dariusz Wolski; dim lights give the rooms a greenish tint, creating a realistic and believable mood for the scenes. The soundtrack furnishes the movie with a genuine zest. A lot of the dialogue is witty and smart, with scenes that are well-written, often funny, and keep our attention. The comedic elements keep the movie interesting and fresh. The film does an excellent job with informing us about the history of the pistol and the plot's complications are curiously intriguing. Leroy's homosexuality introduces relationship issues that give his character depth. Although often bloody and shockingly profane, "The Mexican" is not mean-spirited or nasty-but enlightening and whimsical.
The film is directed by Gore Verbinski, who also provided us with fast-paced entertainment in the 1997 family comedy "MouseHunt." "The Mexican" is much different from that film, but still has the energy and stride to keep us engrossed. Although not what many people will expect, I found "The Mexican" to be a surprising delight.
Pitt and Roberts were a good match, and James Gandolfini really was the best part of this movie. A young man (Pitt) has to go to Mexico and retrieve an antique pistol for a mobster, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend (Roberts). Pitt encounters a lot of snags and hang ups trying to complete the task, and unknowingly, his girlfriend is being held as insurance until he finishes the job. Worth seeing! B+
Okay, I admit it. I'm a Julia fan. But before I saw this movie I'd heard so
much about it being terrible that I had incredibly low expectations - so I
guess I was going in to see it from a different angle to most people.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually saw 'Mouse Hunt' or whatever it's called once on TV, didn't think too much of it, and I was hoping that 'The Mexican' would be different. Luckily, it was.
Brad Pitt gives a sweet performance as Jerry, the accident prone hero, but the best part of the movie is the chemistry between Julia Roberts as Sam and James Gandolfini as Leroy - an unlikely relationship between a kidnapper and a kidnappee (is that a word?).
I'd advise people to see this movie with an open mind. If you expect miracles you'll probably be disappointed. But I actually did really like it.
Oh, and it made me cry. Four times. How embarrassing is that? Maybe I'm getting my period or something.
Take "All About Steve" (cute dysfunctional romcom), toss in "3 Days in
the Valley" (gritty crime drama), a little bit of "Silver Streak"
(roadcom) and a hint of "Deathtrap" or possibly "Fargo" (dark comedy),
then whip them all mercilessly with an eggbeater until it's
unrecognizable, bake at 425 degrees for 2 hrs 3 mins, and there you
have "The Mexican".
If you enjoyed all the films I mentioned above, you'll like this. It's polished, as any Hollywood flick with Brad Pitt & Julia Roberts would be, but it's quirky and odd enough to set itself apart from the others. The story is about a lovable loser (Brad Pitt) and his crazy therapy-inducing girlfriend (Julia Roberts) who end up trapped in a bloody battle to get a cursed gun known as "The Mexican". The plot has plenty of twists & turns to keep you entertained on the surface. But the real story is about unlikely relationships: not just Brad & Julia's bipolar romance but also unlikely friendships & loyalties that spring up between kidnappers & kidnappees, assassins & victims, American profiteers & Mexican defenders... like a good Clint Eastwood movie ("The Unforgiven", "Gran Turino"), the point is that it's easy to apply labels, but how often do you get a good look at what's underneath?
I mentioned that this is a dark comedy, and indeed there are about half a dozen killings. What makes it different from, say Pulp Fiction or Heathers, is that the film doesn't gloss over the deaths with comedic gags. That's where this film is unusual... It has a place for comedy, and it has a place for tragedy. It doesn't really mix the two. Thus you may find your emotions wrenched around a bit, and that may be disorienting to some viewers. But if you're ready for a wild ride (exactly what this movie claims to be), you'll love it. And it has a cool dog in it too.
Other good movies in the same genre include "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie), the hilarious "My Cousin Vinny" (Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei) and the classic "Foul Play" (Chevy Chase & Goldie Hawn).
I can see how some people wouldn't like the movie. It didn't have alot to say about the world. It didn't inspire you to go out and do great things. It wasn't even extremely funny. but I still liked it. I have become accustomed to Hollywood, and their mindless stupid little movies. At least this one had better cinematography. Perhaps it was a bit overcast, and although it might seem like the typical teenager flick actor would fit the part better, that would have turned the movie into just another money making teeny bopper disaster. But as it is the two biggest stars in HOllywood made this movie, and that alone made it a pretty interesting movie. I'm one of those people who like Julia Roberts. I have heard many complaints about her as an actress, but she still tops my list of favorites. SO maybe I'm a bit biased towards the film, but i still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Being quite a harsh critic myself, I was surprised to see how badly recieved
this film was. Admittably the film tended to drag a little length and was
missing something to make it a little more entertaining.
But the film has some interesting characters, situations, and scenery to make this film highly watchable. Pitt and Roberts are good, but have put in much better performances elsewhere. And spend the majority of the film apart. I suspect the main criticisms of this film are mainly to do with high expectations: in having Pitt, Roberts and the Sopranos guy in. But in summary, an alright film - but nothing special.
GOOD - Story was interesting the first time around.....loved the
cinematography; nice Mexican scenery.... liked Brad Pitt's dialog and
his character was fun to watch.....enjoyed the few side-bits with the
dog and was surprised when Gene Hackman showed up late in the film.
BAD - Julia Roberts ruined this film, at least by the second viewing. She was either yelling at Pitt all the time or gushing over a hit-man who admitted he was gay, and both routines wore thin. She thought (being gay) that was just the greatest thing and really overdid it.
Overall, if you modified Roberts' character into someone less abrasive this might have been a "keeper."
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