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The Mexican - Movie review by Dave Richards

Here is a strange film where a dog walks around with a flat football in its mouth, where Julia Roberts gets kidnapped and then befriends her captor and where Brad Pitt travels to Mexico, with the only Spanish he knows probably coming from the menu at a Taco Bell drive-thru, to fetch a sacred pistol known as "The Mexican."
   These are only a few of the bizarre plot points in "The Mexican," a film so original and so good that it's one of the best movies of the year. Only rarely does a film come along that's as mysterious, as skillfully told, and is able to fool the audience so that it has no clue whatsoever where the film is headed. But it's not for everybody.
   If you're thinking this to be a remake of "Pretty Woman" with Pitt and Roberts, think again. The two part ways almost immediately in the film and don't appear together again until near the end. I liked it that way, even though the scenes the two appear in together work well. There's more to "The Mexican," see, it's not the usual romantic comedy where everything is normal and works out perfectly.
   Pitt is the lead in the film as Jerry, a guy who always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. We learn he played a part in an accident which sent a mafia boss to prison, and as his payment, he must venture down to a remote part of Mexico to fetch a beloved firearm.
   Before Jerry leaves, his girlfriend, Samantha (Roberts), gives him a choice. He can either go to Mexico or stay with her. Since Jerry's life is in danger if he doesn't go down south, he chooses to leave Samantha and work for the mob. Meanwhile, Samantha keeps her word and leaves town headed for Las Vegas.
   The film goes back and forth between Jerry's adventure and Samantha's. When Jerry screws up the assignment, Samantha is taken hostage by a mob assistant named Leroy, played to perfection by James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos." The chemistry between Roberts and Gandolfini is remarkable. The scenes the two appear in are among the film's highlights.
   But Roberts and Gandolfini aren't the only ones who are pleasant to watch. Pitt finds the right tone for his character, a character who may be a few tacos short of a combo, but one who finds a way to get something done, even if it's not the easiest way.
   I found myself smiling the entire way through "The Mexican." I was delighted because I never knew what to expect. Films like this are the reason I go to watch movies. They are the films that have a story to tell and somehow find an original way to tell them.
   Afterall, how else would you find a dog that walks around with a flat football in his mouth?