Retro Review: The Mexican

Written: February 8, 2001

If there is such a thing. I would have to refer to this film as a Brad Pitt movie starring Julia Roberts.

The Mexican revolves around Jerry and Samantha, a troubled couple (Pitt and Roberts) who have explosively broken up because Jerry won’t leave his job as a Mob bagman.

Jerry swears to Sam that his bagman days are over and that this will be his last job. His so-called last job is to fly to Mexico and retrieve the infamous cursed pistol known only as “The Mexican”.

Jerry heads for Mexico and Sam heads for Las Vegas. Their relationship is over and Sam is quite upset. While in Mexico, Jerry feels the gun’s full curse as a mobster’s son is accidentally killed while in his care. If that wasn’t enough he also ends up losing the gun to a bunch of rowdy Mexican banditos.

As for poor sobbing Sam, she is kidnapped by a Leroy (James Gandolfini), a hitman who is planning on using her as leverage on Jerry if he doesn’t bring the gun in time to his employers. Unbeknownst to Sam, Leroy is hiding a couple well hidden secrets that will effect Sam and Jerry.

The reason I call this film more of a Brad Pitt movie than a Julia Roberts film is that it’s quirky, un-Hollywood, has a lot of vulgar language and can be gruesome.

Most Julia films stray from this and envelope something we can all relate to. This film, like a lot of other Brad Pitt films, prides itself on mixing violence and humor. I hope I don’t sound like the “Church Lady” when saying that.

But I think the biggest problem with the Mexican is its length. While watching this film I found myself looking at my watch wondering how much more time was left. It runs 123 minutes and it feels like you are watching a whole mini-series in one sitting. I think this film needed more editing. There are at least a dozen scenes that could have been shaved off, cutting the film’s running time by at least 30 minutes.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Gandolfini and Roberts. In some ways these two characters had more chemistry than Roberts and Pitt.

When the Gandolfini/Roberts relationship ends after they hook up with Pitt I found that it was then that the movie was to long.

I didn’t care about the gun, the movie flashing back to the gun’s myth for a third time, Gene Hackman’s cameo or what will happen to Pitt.

This film needed more suspense for the audience to handle this really long of a journey. Since the film lacks the necessary suspense, the audience becomes easily bored.

This film has delightful humor and great performances by all three stars but the film lacks the right depth of suspense or intrigue to carry our interests beyond 90 minutes.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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