Part road movie, part romantic comedy, part thriller, and a whole lotta fun,
i The Mexican
i0 could get by on star power alone, but it offers Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts,
i0 a clever plot full of delightful surprises. It's a thoroughly enjoyable shaggy-dog story in which the downtrodden Jerry Welbach (Pitt) copes with a dual dilemma: his girlfriend Samantha (Roberts) has just dumped him to pursue solo ambitions in Las Vegas, and a manipulative mobster has ordered Jerry to Mexico to retrieve a coveted antique pistol (the "Mexican" of the title) that carries a legacy of legend, death, and danger. Jerry soon has his hands full with bandits, bloodshed, and a grizzly hound dog that vanishes and reappears with amusing regularity. En route to Vegas, Samantha's taken hostage by a burly assassin (James Gandolfini) who's attached to the gun-fetching scheme and is, in more ways than one, not who he seems to be.
Like a good magic act, J.H. Wyman's original screenplay distracts you from its gaps of logic, using unexpected revelations to fuel its strategic vitality. It also provides a wealth of character development, and director Gore Verbinski (
i Mouse Hunt
i0 ) gives his stellar cast equal time to shine. It hardly matters that Pitt and Roberts spend most of the film apart; their time together is worth waiting for, and the machinations that separate them play out like a cross between vintage Peckinpah and
i Romancing the Stone
i0 . And why is the accursed
i0 so valuable? That's just another surprise, setting the stage for the arrival of yet another big-name star, whose motivations are pure in a film full of double-crosses and darkly shaded humor. With a giddy plot like this, star power is just icing on the cake.
i --Jeff Shannon
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|genre:||Fish Out of Water|
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