Mexican is 123 minutes of pain

By Andrea MacRae

Well that’s it, I’m convinced. Perhaps even enlightened. It’s all clear: the reason Hollywood keeps pumping out weak-plotted movies, cast with their finest "beautiful people" is not because they sell to some deluded mass market, but rather they keep my hard-earned money in my pocket and my time better spent. There can really be no other explanation; they’ve gotten that bad.

The Mexican, starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, is like Mad About You come to the big screen: obnoxious and strangely repulsive. Brad Pitt is cast as Jerry Welbach, a "kind of lovable loser." According to director Gore Verbinski, Welbach is an ordinary man who, through a series of incidents, gets mixed up with the mob. For his last job he gets served with an ultimatum: either retrieve an antique pistol from Mexico for his mobster bosses, and get dumped by Samatha (Julia Roberts), or refuse and face the consequences. He chooses the first, and makes his way south of the border.

Finding the pistol takes almost no time at all, but then the excitement begins. While he’s gone, his now ex-girlfriend is kidnapped by a hitman named Leroy (James Gandolfini of The Sopranos) in an attempt to ensure the safe return of the pistol. The rest of the film cuts between the two characters, adds flashbacks of the pistol’s history, then ends in predictable Hollywood style.

To be honest, this film is not as brutal as it could be. It’s not horrifying but it is exactly the same as every other mainstream romantic comedy.

The Mexican relies on a beautiful star-studded cast to float the poor plot and unrealistic story, reinforcing the theme that "love is worth fighting for." It is entertaining, if you can get over the neurosis of the main characters and the "good guy" hitman. The flashbacks are a nice touch, adding more depth to the story, and the Mexican scenery, in all its warmth, is a sight for sore eyes. Even the changes between black and white film and the brash colour of the Las Vegas sets are appealing.

In short, The Mexican is not the surprising ride that it promises to be. Things are always what they seem in the latest Hollywood romantic comedies. Save the $12 until Hollywood dangles something more than Brad to lure you to the theatre.

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