Published Mar 01, 2001After botching a few too many jobs for the mob, Jerry (the dreamy Brad Pitt, girls) is sent down to the darkest depths of Mexico to track down the Mexican, a beautifully hand-crafted pistol in which he must bring back to America. Even though this will be his final duty for the mob, his girlfriend Samantha (Julia Roberts) is not putting up with him any longer and vows to leave for their planned trip to Las Vegas, with or without him. Obviously they go their separate ways and now we basically have a two-part movie. Jerry is on his way to Mexico to try and locate a fellow named Beck, played briefly but exceptionally well by David Krumholtz. Beck, the young man who currently owns the gun, seems oddly willing to hand over the prized possession, but Jerry soon finds out he can't hold onto the pistol very long without someone trying to steal it.
The scenes in Mexico are the film's greatest moments. When Jerry is initially in the country there's a bleak picture painted of what it feels like to be far from home, not knowing where you are. The streets and back alleys that he travels are dark and creepy and the locals don't take very kindly to him, which builds much tension and suspense. But in contrast, the Mexico setting also provide more of the greater comedic scenes and stronger characters.
As for the Julia Roberts side of things, this half of the film is a little more sensitive and, at times, downright sappy. Her character of Samantha is kidnapped by Leroy (James Gandolfini) a thug who works for the goons that Jerry is mixed-up with. Even though her life seems to be in jeopardy, Samantha keeps her cool and soon picks away at Leroy's inner feelings and finds him to be a sweet and sensitive cold-blooded killer. Robert's scenes in Las Vegas are almost in complete contrast from Pitt's in Mexico, with Las Vegas being wealthy and bright and south-of-the-border being poverty-stricken and lack-luster.
Not a bad angle to play in a movie, yet it tends to make "The Mexican" seem a little unbalanced. It's almost as if Pitt is delivering something for male movie-goers with lots of action, suspense and gun-toting, whereas Roberts is catering to the females with a emotional love story. "The Mexican" does in fact have two of Hollywood's biggest stars taking lead role duties, but it's almost as if Pitt and Roberts are too big for the same movie that they needed to separate them for the majority and give them individual star-billing. But all the performances are there and the plot-line is definitely intriguing enough to make it worthwhile.