Worth A Look: 13.16%
Pretty Bad: 19.3%
Total Crap: 23.68%
9 reviews, 60 user ratings
To get the most out of this film you have to watch the deleted scenes and the director’s commentary. However, this doesn’t make it a totally crappy movie. It is (in my opinion) a bad movie with some very good things about it, and therefore, I could enjoy it.WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss it, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.
"A mixed-up potpourri of ideas."
Jerry has promised his girlfriend, Samantha, that he will take her to Las Vegas. However, Jerry has kept messing up his previous jobs, so his employer orders him (under pain of death) to go to Mexico and bring back a priceless antique pistol (the pistol being “the Mexican” of the title, a pistol that contains the soul of a 19th Century Mexican girl who killed herself.) Jerry, as he tries to get the pistol and keep hold of it, keeps screwing up, until, under the constant pressure he is under, he becomes heroic. He finally restores the pistol to its rightful owner, releasing the soul of the girl. Jerry is helped by a dog, who is possibly the spirit of the gun, or something metaphysical. (The dog appears in the scenes taking place in the 19th century, and with Jerry in the 21st.) In the end, Jerry kills the gay hit man who, just a moment before had decided not to kill Jerry. Samantha feels sad, but, in the end, ends up with our hero, Jerry.
There are many good points about this film. First, there is Julia Robert’s acting. To her credit, she is not one of those movie stars that only want to play a certain kind of role because of their “image.” Her role in “The Mexican” was far different from her roles in films like “Pretty Woman,” “Runaway Bride,” and “Ocean’s Eleven.” In “The Mexican” she plays a trashy, foul-mouthed girl (she says “fuck” several times). She is also bitchy. Her character is also sensitive, as she becomes quite fond of the gay hit man played brilliantly by James Gandolfini.
In the film there are several excellent views of Mexico. Yes, they are in Mexico, not Canada or Italy or somewhere else. Make sure and listen to the director’s commentary as he has some fascinating comments to make about one particular town he shot in.
There is some quite funny moments in the film. This, in my opinion, did much to keep the film entertaining.
Gene Hackman had a cameo in the film. Having a actor of his stature in the film, even if it was in the end, did, for me, add a lot of meaning to the final scenes.
There was a lovable mongrel dog .(Actually a golden retriever made up.) This dog was absolutely adorable in a mongrel sort of way. I felt he should have played a bigger role however, as there certainly could have been some good scenes with the dog in it.
The flash-back technique, in the form of an old film shown on a cheap 16 mm projector was very effective. (The scenes were complete with the noise of the projector – remember watching those movies in school where you could hear the projector in the back of the room? It sounded like that.)
The DVD had some deleted scenes in the extras. I sure wish they had left them in the film because I needed them to really understand the movie. For example, the deleted wedding scene tied up the loose end of Jerry losing his passport.
The film had too many subplots which made it lose focus. (Several of the subplots could have been left out, and with minor twigging the movie would still have made sense..) All these subplots and lack of focus made me wonder what the film was about. That is, was it about:
1. broken relationships,
2. the healing of relationships,
3. new age sensitive gay men,
4. the coming-of-age of Jerry (he changes from a bumbling person to a heroic one),
5. the adventure of finding the gun,
6. the dog as spirit guide,
7. the saving of the girl’s spirit?
Of course, one could argue that a bunch of different plot elements in the film make it like real life. In fact, I did say something like this in my review of “Brotherhood of the Wolf.” However, “Brotherhood” is focused because it has a coherent flow of all the different elements. However,“The Mexican.” is neither focused nor coherent. It only has a bunch of disparate plot elements strung together.
In spite of saying all of the above, I really did enjoy the DVD edition of the film.
The scenery in Mexico was fascinating, the deleted scenes were vital to understanding the story, and the director’s commentary was enlightening.Make sure and watch the deleted scenes. You need them to really enjoy this movie.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3895&reviewer=228
originally posted: 02/17/03 21:39:43