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The Mexican

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Mexican

Starring: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts
Director: Gore Verbinski
Rated: R
RunTime: 123 Minutes
Release Date: March 2001
Genres: Action, Romance, Suspense

*Also starring: James Gandolfini, Bob Balaban, J.K. Simmons, David Krumholtz, Sherman Augustus, Richard Coca, Michael Cerveris

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Not only is vibrant Julia Roberts America's Sweetheart but she's also this year's Golden Globe winner with a lock on the Best Actress Oscar for "Erin Brockovich." Brad Pitt's been voted People magazine's "Sexiest Man in the World." They possess two of the screen's most photogenic faces, so teaming them, along with "The Sopranos" Joe Gandolfini, was a stroke of marketing genius. Based on a fateful screenplay by J.H. Wyman, directed by Gore Verbinski ("Mouse Hunt"), the story follows a reluctant bagman (Pitt) who is sent to Mexico to retrieve a legendary pistol, known as The Mexican. Supposedly, it was crafted as a wedding present for a nobleman if he'd marry the gunsmith's daughter who, in turn, loved her father's apprentice who rigged the gun to misfire if it fell into the wrong hands. He figures this errand should end his indentured servitude to an underworld crime boss for past misdeeds.

While Pitt, a lovable dork, has a serious problem with moving vehicles, he's got even more of a problem with his group therapy-addicted girl-friend (Roberts) who spouts psycho-babble and demands that he join her in Las Vegas. ("When do you get to that point if enough is enough?" she muses.) Finding the cursed pistol is easy but getting it back is complicated, particularly when she's taken hostage by a hitman (Gandolfini). This divergent plot is important because the stars actually have few scenes together - which is a mistake. Both exude charm and handle the comedy well but the pacing is uneven and the pairing unsatisfying. The soundtrack's fun, particularly Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'". On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Mexican" is a visually stylish 7. It's a quirky caper movie about destiny.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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