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Review: Mr. Right (TIFF 2015)

Mr. Right (TIFF 2015)
6 10

PLOT: A cheerful hit-man (Sam Rockwell) falls for an unlucky-in-love young woman (Anna Kendrick) but their relationship is threatened by his murderous former mentor (Tim Roth) and an army of contract killers looking to take him out.

REVIEW: The word is that MR. RIGHT was the screenplay that got Max Landis (CHRONICLE) noticed in Hollywood, with him having gone on to pen AMERICAN ULTRA, and VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. The finished film, directed by RAGE's Paco Cabezas, plays out a bit like AMERICAN ULTRA had the violence been toned way down and the mind-control aspect been eliminated. Like that film, MR. RIGHT mixes romance and action, although the model here seems less something like TRUE ROMANCE and more GROSSE POINTE BLANK or ROMANCING THE STONE.

MR. RIGHT will probably appeal to a much larger audience than ULTRA did, with it opting for a fun, happy-go-lucky tone that hits the right notes, even though it's a bit jarring to see a full-on comedy where dozens of henchmen are sent to meet their maker. No matter, as they're all bad guys and the Sam Rockwell/Anna Kendrick pairing is charming. They're an excellent match, with Rockwell's quirky appeal meshing well with Kendrick's cuteness. They feel like a coupling that could actually happen, making scenes that would have been insufferable (such as when Rockwell seduces Kendrick by throwing knives at her) come off alright.

Cabezas opts for a full-on comedy tone here, although the action scenes are numerous and surprisingly well shot. Rockwell's hit-man is an oddball assassin who only kills those who hire him because “murder is bad.” It's almost a replay of his part in SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, albeit given a more romantic, heroic makeover. While he's good at killing he'd much rather wound or – better yet – befriend the guys trying to kill him, including RZA's bemused killer, who can't help but kinda like his target.

Rockwell comes-off well here, particularly in the action sequences. His hit-man character goes by the alias “Dancer” and as such he dances his way through the fights adopting a kind of Gene Kelly-style flow to his fights. Rockwell has a peculiar kind of energy that he's famous for and it's in full-effect here, with funny little character moments, such as when he sincerely tells a muscle bound baddie that he's “beautiful” or the way he tries to play peacemaker after he's fallen in-love rather than kill. As for Kendrick, she's adorable throughout, with her deadpan acceptance of Rockwell's profession being a highlight. She even gets in on the action a bit at the end, with her slight build being milked for all it's worth as she takes down giant hit-men and wields massive firepower. She's seems to really be enjoying the action stuff, which adds to the movie's appeal.As the baddie, Tim Roth chews a whole lot of scenery, with him adopting an Alabama accent while posing as a cop, and adopting a more laddish English accent as the character's actual voice. Anson Mount pops up as a mob boss with his Hell On Wheels hair intact, and he plays his part mostly for laughs.

MR. RIGHT isn't perfect, with the soundtrack being far too sitcom-y, and the resolution being way too close to how ULTRA ended, which makes Landis come off like he's copying himself. However, it's a pretty harmless, fun ninety-minute romp and a good date movie with some romance for the ladies and action for the lads.

Source: JoBlo.com



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