The Mexican


Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by:J.H. Wyman
Starring: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini, J.K. Simmons, Bob Balaban
Released: April 26, 2001
Grade: B

Jerry (Pitt) and Samantha’s (Roberts) relationship is a little strained.  Sam thinks that Jerry is selfish and Jerry thinks that Sam is overreacting.  How so?  Jerry’s just been called on another gangster assignment and has to go to Mexico to pick up a gun with great value known as “the Mexican”.  Sam says that if Jerry goes, the relationship is over but of course if he doesn’t go, he’ll most probably be killed.

With no other option, Jerry heads to Mexico and Sam nicks off to Las Vegas to start a new life.  There’s a lot more at stake here and Jerry’s about to find out just how much the gun is really worth.  It seems everyone wants the gun for their own and a hitman know as Leroy (Gandolfini) has kidnapped Sam in Vegas to use her as leverage in securing the gun.  When he finds that Sam and Jerry have split, he’s determined not to lose the edge and with his compassionate side, shows Sam just how much she still loves Jerry and vice-versa.

It’s hard to fit this film into any particular genre - there’s a mix of comedy, drama and romance but in all honesty, the story is juvenile.  Both Pitt and Roberts are unexpectedly impressive but most will agree James Gandolfini stands out and will provide the film’s talking points.  I did enjoy the way the story was told.  Apart from the opening ten minutes, our two stars do not share a scene for over an hour and watching both their adventures provides more material.

The Mexican is different but not in a positive or negative way.  You can tell you’re watching a classy production made by the best in the biz but you’re never really captivated by the story nor are you able to gauge how you’re supposed to feel.  Important characters are killed but not enough seems to be made of their demise as if secondary to the whole Pitt/Roberts thing.  The film also proposes to give lessons in love which I felt were best left implied rather than spelt out.

Box-office figures haven’t been huge and I’m Dreamworks will be disappointed given the star billing.  It shows you need a script to make a movie and to be truly successful, you need your audience to like it and recommend it to others.  This is not one of those films.