The Mexican (2001)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Road Movie  |   Release Date - Mar 2, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 123 min.  |   Countries - Mexico , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Rebecca Flint Marx

Hyped extensively for its supposedly dreamy big-screen pairing of Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, The Mexican sailed into US theaters on a wave of anticipation and, as it turned out, largely false advertising. While they do indeed play lovers -- albeit perpetually sparring ones -- Pitt and Roberts appear onscreen together for all of about ten minutes, and what an awful ten minutes they are. Cast respectively as Jerry and Samantha, a con artist and his long-suffering girlfriend, the two actors play one of those couples whose endless arguments are supposed to be the stuff of ironic, quirky entertainment. Unfortunately, thanks to a flat, clich├ęd script and misguided direction, the scenes between Roberts and Pitt -- who look like they've wandered off the set of a Gap commercial -- have all the fizz and buoyancy of a warm can of Coke. Much better are Roberts' scenes with The Sopranos' James Gandolfini, cast here as Leroy, the gay hit man who kidnaps Samantha. Their scenes have what those between Roberts and Pitt lack, namely chemistry. Roberts, for her part, gamely flashes her legs and smile, while Pitt wanders around looking really cute and clueless in an orange t-shirt. Director Gore Verbinski, known largely for making the Budweiser talking-frog commercials, proves that while he may have had a knack for directing animatronic amphibians, live human beings remain beyond his general comprehension.