Year 8, Day 113 - 4/22/16 - Movie #2,313
BEFORE: Well, as long as "The Counselor" dealt with the cartels in Mexico, it just makes sense to follow up with this one. Brad Pitt carries over for the last time, but the end of the Brad Pitt chain is also the start of the J.K. Simmons chain.
THE PLOT: A man tries to transport an ancient gun called The Mexican, believed to
carry a curse, back across the border, while his girlfriend pressures
him to give up his criminal ways.
AFTER: Well, this fits right in with my theme for the week - plans going awry. Brad Pitt's character is indebted to a crime boss (long story...) and after performing a series of tasks (presumably) he only has to do one last, easy job - fly to Mexico, meet with a gun dealer, take possession of a rare pistol, and bring it back to the U.S. Only nothing goes as planned, and within a day he's lost his rental car, the gun and the man he was supposed to meet.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend heads to Vegas alone, on a trip that was supposed to be for them to take together, and gets intercepted by a gangster who keeps her as insurance, to make sure that her boyfriend follows through with the job he's supposed to do - because it sure looks like he's gone rogue, killed his contact and taken possession of the item for himself. So they keep sending more and more guys to help him out, only things keep going wrong and he keeps getting into more and more trouble.
Meanwhile, different people relate the backstory of the pistol, who made it and why, and discuss whether or not it's got a curse attached to it. Considering all the things that go wrong to the guy who's trying to find it and hold on to it, maybe there's something to all that. As in "The Counselor", Mexico seems to be full of gangsters and hitmen, only here there's more of a comic nature to the whole proceedings. Pitt's character in particular is noble but stupid, like who goes to Mexico without any ability to speak Spanish at all? Who thinks they can get a gun past airport security in their luggage? Sure, there are a lot of holes in the guy's plan, but if you accept that his character is quite dim, then all that doesn't matter.
The folk tale about the creation of the pistol is a bunch of hooey, and I didn't even really care whether it was true or not, but in the end it does provide a good justification for who should end up with the gun. So I'm fairly fine with the way it all shook down.
Also starring Julia Roberts (last seen in "Flatliners"), James Gandolfini (last seen in "Not Fade Away"), J.K. Simmons (last seen in "Jobs"), Gene Hackman (last seen in "Narrow Margin"), Bob Balaban (last seen in "Altered States"), David Krumholtz (last seen in "Serenity"), Michael Cerveris, Sherman Augustus, Pedro Armendariz Jr. (last seen in "Original Sin").
RATING: 6 out of 10 handcuffs