Mexican, The

Rated: R
Stars: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini

The Mexican is really a simple story made wonderfully engaging by three terrific stars, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and James Gandolfini, and a story filled with clever humor and mayhem played well.

Brad Pitt stars as Jerry Welbach a bungling and reluctant bagman for a mobster. He’s ordered to make up for his last disasterous job by flying to Mexico and retrieving a priceless antique pistol known as “The Mexican”. If he doesn’t go, he’s dead. If he does go, Jerry’s girlfriend Samatha (Julia Roberts) will take a hike. She hates what he’s doing that much. Jerry loves Sam, but staying alive is his first priority. Figuring he can patch things up later with Samantha, Jerry takes the flight and from the first moment he steps into his rented El Camino muscle car to make his way to the appointed destination, trouble and disaster follow.

While Jerry fumbles and falls in Mexico, Samantha heads to Las Vegas to start a new life and gets kidnapped by a hitman hired to ensure Jerry’s cooperation. That hitman would be James Gandolfini, expert mobster from the hit TV series The Sopranos as Leroy, an unusually sensitive killer who gobbles most of the screen time with Roberts’ character. But don’t be disapponted. Their time together is priceless. And Leroy is a hoot and a half.

Each encounter with the pistol leads Jerry to discover a variation of the legend surrounding its mysterious curse which is humorously staged in old flickering silent footage involving peasant Mexican villagers, noblemen and an incompetent gunsmith.

Lotta says: Pitt is superb; Julia reigns supreme and Gandolfini has no peer. The Mexican makes for a super fine mix of romantic comedy and action. It’s rated R for language and gun violence.

Reviewed 3/1/01