Julia Roberts has pits!
Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts are two of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Each has an annual income that oscillates comfortably from $20 million to $70 million a year. Each is sitting on a personal fortune that must be pushing $200 million or better, even in the current bear market. You’d think that two such favored individuals would have better things to do than participate in a shabby, take-the-money-and-run exploitation of the movie-going public like The Mexican. You’d think, but you’d be wrong.
Hyped as a mega-star picture, The Mexican is more accurately described as a no-star picture. After a cheesy opening that pretends the two stars were actually in the same time zone when the scene was shot (and which fools no one) we have Brad wandering around in Mexico looking for a legendary, hand-tooled revolver, known as “the Mexican,” which gets almost as much screen time as the two stars. (The more often we see the gun, the less acting Brad and Julia have to do.)
Supposedly, Brad’s character is so dumb he thinks the Spanish word for “truck” is “el trucko” (used in the sentence “Can you give me a ride in your el trucko?”). But naturally, since he’s Brad Pitt, he can’t really be dumb. Whenever the shit hits the fan, he’s one step ahead of the bad guys. By the end of the picture, he’s saying things like “This whole trip has been a debacle.”
Julia, meanwhile, is heading for Las Vegas, for no reason, really, other than to give her something to do. She hooks up with James Gandolfini, star of The Sopranos, who, in a supremely gratuitous twist, turns out to be a gay hitman. Julia helps him get in touch with his inner queer, and it’s great, except that both Jimmy and his lover get killed.1
Brad and Julia actually hook up together for the final third of the picture. It seems they really do love each other, but they can’t stop arguing! Finally they realize, after half the cast gets wasted, that “In a world of nerds, I deserve someone as gorgeous as I am.” Not only that, but “the Mexican” gets returned to its rightful owner!2
The Mexican has to rank as the most phoned-in movie I’ve ever seen, and that includes the Bob Hope classic I’ll Take Sweden, Rowan & Martin’s The Maltese Bippy,3 and McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force. Brad and Julia, if you’re reading this (and I know you are), the next time you step on board the $20 million yachts you bought with the proceeds from this turkey, I hope you’ll feel just the tiniest twinge of guilt. Because you sure as hell ought to.
- I guess there’s a moral there somewhere, but I’m not going to look for it. [↩]
- Yeah, I was worried too. [↩]
- You had to love the plot: “A man buys a house and comes to believe that not only is the house haunted by werewolves, but a family of vampires lives next door!” Why did the sixties have to end? [↩]