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Overall Rating
2.59

Awesome: 6.14%
Worth A Look: 13.16%
Average37.72%
Pretty Bad: 19.3%
Total Crap: 23.68%

9 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Mexican, The
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by EricDSnider

"Es muy bueno."
4 stars

"El Mexicano," con Julia Roberts y Brad Pitt, es muy bueno! That's all the Spanish I know, and I'm not sure on some of it. But "The Mexican" is a delightfully original film whose tone lies somewhere between "Pulp Fiction" and "The Three Amigos."

Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts are a cohabiting Los Angeles couple named Jerry and Samantha. They attend a therapy group, and Sam is perpetually perturbed at Jerry's inability to express himself (perhaps he's just trying to get a word in edge-wise) and his general shiftlessness. Jerry, for his part, loves Sam as much as she loves him and would do anything for her.

At the film's beginning, though, Sam is throwing Jerry out because he has agreed to do another job for a bad guy named Margolies. Actually, Margolies is in jail (which is sort of Jerry's fault, which is why he has to keep doing him favors), and his underling, Nayman (Bob Balaban), is directing the action.

Jerry's assignment is to go to Mexico and retrieve a particular gun, the titular Mexican. The Mexican has a much-storied past; in fact, we are shown the story several times, each told by a different person who has understood the gun's mythology differently. Suffice it to say the gun was made by a poor metal-worker for a nobleman's son, who desired to marry the gun-maker's daughter even though she was in love with a peasant boy. The gun did not work properly, and has since had a curse affixed to it.

That curse is made to seem less superstitious when, moments after getting the gun, Jerry's Mexico connection is accidentally killed and his car -- and the gun -- are stolen. He's in and out of jail and wanders through Mexico for much of the film, flitting from one misadventure to another.

Meanwhile, Sam has left for Las Vegas, still fuming at Jerry. En route, she is almost killed by one guy and then rescued by another. This is a hired goon named Leroy (James Gandolfini, from TV's "The Sopranos"), who turns out to be gay and quite useful in helping Sam figure out her love life. His actual job, though, is to hold Sam as a hostage until they can get a hold of Jerry and the gun. Nayman and Margolies, apparently, fear Jerry has double-crossed them when he doesn't report back right away.

The screenplay, written by J.H. Wyman, twists and turns, breezing through every genre from crime caper to romance. The dark sense of humor is a constant, though, with smart dialogue reminiscent of David Mamet and loopy scenarios that recall the Coen Brothers. (Seeing "The Dukes of Hazzard" dubbed in Spanish is automatically funny, as is Sam's tearfulness while watching a Mexican soap opera: "You don't have to understand their words to feel their pain," she says earnestly.)

There is a point where it seems the story has twisted all it can and things seem to be settled -- yet the movie doesn't end. Where it goes turns out to be quite rewarding, with a marvelous cameo and a surprisingly poignant love-story message, but there is that stretch where you wonder if the film has run out of steam. Fortunately, it hasn't.

Brad Pitt keeps getting more and more likable, and he wears this slightly dopey fish-out-of-water role like it was tailor-made for him. Julia Roberts, too, lights up the screen every chance she gets. James Gandolfini plays against type fantastically. He's a hired hitman, which suits him perfectly, but his hysterical sensitivity is what knocks us for a loop. Admittedly, I don't know that I'd have found him quite so funny if I weren't a huge "Sopranos" fan -- part of the humor is certainly in seeing him playing against type -- but Gandolfini is a gifted actor whether you know his work or not.

2001 has been a miserable year for movies so far. Nothing like a relaxing (OK, chaotic) trip to sunny Mexico to rejuvenate us.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3895&reviewer=247
originally posted: 03/02/01 16:09:24
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User Comments

8/31/08 Shaun Wallner This one was kinda boring. 2 stars
5/20/08 PAUL SHORTT I LEFT HOPING THAT I NEVER SEE EITHER OF THEM AGAIN IN ANYTHING 1 stars
2/04/08 Pamela White not Brad's best work 3 stars
1/30/07 Matt What a fucking mess. Hire it if, and only if, there is absolutely FUCK-ALL on TV! 1 stars
9/22/06 Charles Tatum Surprisingly lucid crime drama, but drowns in its own ugliness 4 stars
8/29/05 Glen Duke Waste of time 2 stars
7/18/05 R.W. Welch Has some amusing bits but very uneven. 3 stars
5/09/04 Rebecca I have watched this film at least 20 times on video and each and every time I am engrossed 5 stars
4/19/04 Croweater Crappy flick, u will want to kill Julia as shes a real slag in this movie. 2 stars
2/22/04 Who shot JR? Has any movie's title character been shot more times than this one's? 1 stars
2/15/04 john bale Top cast can't do much with this muddling along thriller/comedy 2 stars
10/12/03 Carrie Kohl How far Julia Roberts has come since HOOK - from Tinkerbell to Tinkle Belle. 2 stars
10/08/03 Jeffrey Banks Heads up, Robyn! Tain't all that insufferable. Don't let Julia stool ya! 2 stars
10/08/03 Robyn Jamil-Walid Julia Roberts couldn't be more obnoxious if she took a dump in my face! 1 stars
7/22/03 Monster W. Kung Pitt needs to avoid these kind of movies, Roberts needs a punch in the face. 2 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon Surpisingly horrid. Brad Pitt acted about as well as Kato Caelin in this shitbag. 1 stars
2/18/03 y2mckay Tony Soprano didn't want to rape the offspring of Mr. Ed? He must be GAY! 1 stars
11/24/02 tigger142066 I really liked this movie. It was good 5 stars
11/23/02 Croweater Crappy flick, u will want to kill Julia as shes a real slag in this movie. 2 stars
9/26/02 Who shot JR? Has any movie's title character been shot more times than this one's? 1 stars
8/08/02 I Can't Swim Actually, Julia & Gando shared a moment that I enjoyed. Emphasis on 'a' moment, singular 3 stars
5/23/02 Carrie Kohl How far Julia Roberts has come since HOOK - from Tinkerbell to Tinkle Belle. 2 stars
5/15/02 Jeffrey Banks Heads up, Robyn! Tain't all that insufferable. Don't let Julia stool ya! 2 stars
5/15/02 Robyn Jamil-Walid Julia Roberts couldn't be more obnoxious if she took a dump in my face! 1 stars
3/20/02 Jim Gay hitman and Gene Hackman steal the movie from the "stars" 4 stars
3/19/02 Mae Mortaveto Horse mouthed women should keep to the stables 1 stars
3/04/02 Jenny Tullwartz Feelgood message-Insufferable harpy still loves outlaw beau after he kills her gay friend. 1 stars
10/18/01 Catherine Schneider I'm pretty sure this movie was aimed at middle aged women. 2 stars
8/14/01 Monday Morning Not bad at all...just 20-30 minutes too long. 4 stars
6/06/01 Muad'Dib Surpisingly, it works pretty well. It's worth renting, anyway. 3 stars
5/26/01 Edward Shandis JESUS CHRIST! WHO IS MAKING THESE FILMS 1 stars
5/23/01 Lohsandt Totally boring 1 stars
5/20/01 Roy Smith This movies feels about three hours long - three hours of commercials. 1 stars
5/05/01 Jon Jones Its Desperado minus the action, Snatch minus the wit, and a movie minus decent direction 1 stars
5/02/01 Pierce Lanson Awful,awful,awful,awful. 1 stars
4/26/01 Brian Somebody kill that vapid, horse-faced bitch Julia Roberts. And the rest sucked too. 1 stars
4/17/01 Lee F Burton. Radio Presenter. Formulaic but great performance from James Gandolfini. Best lines....the dog! 3 stars
4/10/01 muneer78 Not bad. It has an engaging story and the leads do a great job. 4 stars
4/02/01 Carolyn This movie made me cry! It was definitely worth going to see, and I loved Brad and Julia! 5 stars
3/28/01 Rampage Brad Pitt was great, the rest blew chunks 2 stars
3/28/01 Kirsten Worth the matinee price 3 stars
3/28/01 tnt a convoluted waste of time for the viewer....everything misfires! 2 stars
3/25/01 Sid 6.7 A wistful romantic vehicle for the glitzy and glamorous couple of Pitt and Roberts 4 stars
3/24/01 Rebekah Walker The movie itself wasn't that great, but Brad Pitt is gorgeous, so I'm not complaining!! 4 stars
3/24/01 ZuG It was quite funny at times, I liked it. 4 stars
3/23/01 pipeman Possibly the worst directed movie in history. 1 stars
3/23/01 Valerie its soooo funny 5 stars
3/21/01 amy brad is delicious. 5 stars
3/16/01 Gabe WOW did it SUCK 2 stars
3/16/01 Julia Roberts I want to tell all people on earth that I love myself more than the horsemouth I have. 1 stars
3/07/01 Natalie Start offs in debut, just goes further in. 1 stars
3/05/01 Deana Henderson Julia is nothing less than fabulous 4 stars
3/04/01 Jake I'll go one step further: Brad Pitt & Julia Roberts. 1 stars
3/04/01 John Lyons Julia Roberts is still in "white trash" mode. Sucked big time! 1 stars
3/03/01 Buzz What a waste of film. Not even interesting as an example of a bad film. 2 stars
3/03/01 Jen Brad Pitt 5 stars
3/03/01 Jaime MM, your review is pretty wretched 3 stars
3/02/01 Shayne Davies The review didn't read well - and it was full of grammatical errors 2 stars
3/01/01 TimmyToday Julila Roberts 5 stars
3/01/01 Nancy Barton Too long, does'nt live up to hype! Roberts is great. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Mar-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Apr-2001 (M)




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