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by Eddie London, staff writer

 

The film is written and directed by Richard Shepard and incorporates great cinematography by David Tattersall. The film is satire of the spy film genre represented by the James Bond films. Pierce Brosnan plays a sloppy James Bond type who established a relationship with an honest businessman that significantly changes both of their lives.

When Danny, a naive traveling salesman played by Greg Kinnear, first meets Julian, Brosnan’s character, a foul-mouthed assassin, the joke comes to life. Brosnan tries to spark conversation with Danny using a grotesquely rude comment that almost sends Kinnear out the door.

Julian apologizes, and even though Danny is originally turned off by Julian’s weird behavior and odd tendencies, Julian’s sincere attempt to develop a friendship keeps Danny listening, and a solid bond is formed.

Julian is a distressed hitman in the later years of his career. Friendless, he knows that friends are hard to come by, so he does his best to keep Danny as a friend.

Julian’s near mental breakdown is colorfully portrayed in the movie when, the next day he walks through the lobby of a high-class hotel in Mexico carrying a beer, and wearing nothing but black cowboy boots and a Speedo. He staggers over to what he thinks is the hotel pool and hops in, boots and all. Underwater he soon realizes he has jumped into the hotel’s shark tank.

Julian offers Danny a ticket to go with him to a bullfight. It is here that Julian reveals to Danny that he is, as his boss calls him, “a facilitator of fatalities.” He proves it to Danny when he later pretends to be a client who wants a man in the crowed to be killed by Julian, stating that money is not an obstacle. Julian gives Danny a walk-through on the logistics of distracting the mark, distracting the opposition, and making clean getaway. Danny is so convinced that he tries to stop Julian.

The material in the rest of the plot, beyond Mexico, is rather slim. Julian goes through a mental breakdown, and fails a couple of jobs because he sees himself as the target right before he is about to kill the mark.

His boss Mr. Stick wants Julian’s head, so Julian shows up at Danny’s home telling him, “You are my only friend in the world.” The main story moves along smoothly despite episodic twists as Julian travels the world doing various jobs. It all leads to a rather unexpected ending. The movie explores the themes of opposites attracting and plays off hitman clichés. It bounces from burlesque to serious drama to action adventure, creating a sense that while the audience thinks they can tell what’s going to happen next, something entirely unexpected always up happens.

Pierce Brosnan’s drunken and troubled hitman performance should not be missed. Satirizing the performances required of him in the James Bond films, he makes hilariously rude comments constantly catching audiences off guard.

The film ultimately delivers a serious message about cherishing life, family, and friends. Both of the characters come to a new realization of how they need to change their lives to live the way they want to.

Even this serious theme is mocked; though, at the end when we see Brosnan jumping on a trampoline wearing a yellow and blue cheerleader’s outfit.

This is a must see, but leave the children at home.
 
 

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