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The Mexican

Julia Roberts, Mexican Thieves, and a Gay Kidnapper

By Jacob Beniflah

staff writer

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Written by J.H. Wyman

Starring Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini, David Krumholtz, and Gene Hackman

Rated R

The quest for a sought-after object is usually filled with excitement and heartbreaks along the way. In The Mexican’s case, it’s filled with Julia Roberts, a gay kidnapper, and Mexican thieves.

The movie begins with Jerry Walbach (Brad Pitt) facing an ultimatum: go to Mexico and retrieve a legendary pistol for his mob boss, or die. Back home his girlfriend Samantha (Julia Roberts) hands him another ultimatum: leave and this is the end of their relationship.

Jerry decides to go south of the border and finally accomplish his job. As in any movie of this variety, you would predict this is the part where the plot gets tangled. In The Mexican, this is exactly the case.

Arriving in Mexico, Jerry quickly finds the gun, but the movie is far from over. He learns that the gun is cursed from the first time it was ever fired. In Mexico a bunch of thieves seek to steal back the gun, and back in the United States assorted kidnappers try to grab Samantha on her way to Las Vegas. From here the movie splits into three stories; Jerry going after the gun in Mexico, Samantha with her gay captor Leroy (James Gandolfini of HBO’s The Sopranos), and the true legend of the pistol. The stories end up coming together in the last ten minutes.

It seems clear from the plot summary this is a Snatch variety of film, with gangsters chasing each other and comedic hilarity ensuing. The Mexican is part action, comedy, dark comedy, and romantic comedy. Jerry is after the gun and a stable relationship with Samantha. The chase for the gun is full of flying bullets and murders.

One weak point of the film is that the characters are not fully developed. Jerry’s past is only addressed at the end of the movie. Its obvious this isn’t the first job he has screwed up for his boss. Perhaps a reenactment of those scenes would have made the movie a funnier. The acting, however, leaves no complaints. Pitt and Roberts perform their roles well.

The setting of most of the movie, though not visually stunning, is interesting. Jerry spends much of his time in quaint Mexican towns driving through narrow streets. Though not a true representation of the entire country, we see a little piece of Mexico between comedic skits.

The twists and turns of the movie may be generic and predictable, but ultimately the movie is funny. Jerry knows no Spanish and sticks out like a sore thumb, which accounts for many of the movie’s laughs. Leroy turns out to have as many relationship issues as Samantha does. However, the film isn’t all fast-paced action, and at times the plot goes nowhere, leaving you wanting more.