When unlucky-in-love Martha (Anna Kendrick) meets Francis (Sam Rockwell) he seems different from other guys. Really different. And if you don't count that he's a hitman on the run from crime cartels, he may just turn out to be Mr. Right. Martha ignores the initial warning signs - 'cos she just can't ignore that they've got something special. And if she and Francis can survive being hunted-down, shot-at, and generally risking their lives to survive, they just might make a killer couple.
Review by Louise Keller:
The hitman romcom presents itself as a new genre in this crazy relationship story in which knives, bullets and blood form part of the foreplay. The film hits its mark some of the time, largely due to the charisma and chemistry between the two leads who lead us on a high energy dance through New Orleans. Screenwriter Max Landis' twisted concept involving a former hitman who practices his own reverse psychology is pretty silly really, especially when it becomes a senseless bullet-fest, but the establishment and development of the unique central relationship is spiked with charm.
Martha McKay (Anna Kendrick) has always seemingly had offbeat ideas - like her childhood wish to become a T-Rex when she grows up. And now she is grown up, she is struggling with bad relationships and tells her flat mate Sophie (Katie Nehra) she wants to do something terrible. You know what they say: be careful what you wish for....
It is raining condoms in the supermarket scene when Martha meets Mr Right (Sam Rockwell) and their spontaneous date becomes the springboard for an intense and fun relationship. We have already seen first hand that Mr Right is a hit man; light on his feet and clown's red nose in place. The fun starts when Martha finds out. But there are plenty of surprises before then, like the scene when they start throwing knives to each other, catching them safely because of the pulse and energy between then. If you think that is bizarre, there is plenty more to come as Tim Roth's fellow hit man appears on the scene, as well as members of a drug syndicate whose members are on the slow side. They are mostly annoying.
Rockwell is an edgy actor who makes anything interesting and here he is somewhat of a psychopathic loner who likes green gummy bears and insists that nobody's normal. Kendrick is a diminutive bundle of surprises, playing mind games with the hardened crims once she gets a taste for the life. The comedy is black, the ideas original and the relationship fun, although the persistent choreographed violence wears thin by the end.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
As a keen fan of black comedy, I was expecting a knockout, but it turns out to be a slap with a wet lettuce leaf. The essence of great black comedy (indeed, all comedy) is its insistence on playing it as drama or tragedy. The audience must believe the characters and the story. We must invest in them, feel for them. Mr. Right tries too hardtop be funny and hip when it should be darkly authentic.
There are a few scenes, a few moments, when the combination of performances and story gel, enough to provoke a snort. They are far too few.
At the beginning, Martha (Anna Kendrick) behaves like a child; she is irritatingly silly. By the end she is a jokey figure created for effect. Sam Rockwell's Francis, the super-efficient hitman, is so cool as to be a frozen caricature. His fight scenes are cartoonish and the baddies are one dimensional, derivative.
The premise is based on their chance meeting triggering a mutual passion, but this is stated rather than shown. There are a few laughs, a few good ideas and an ever-engaging baddie in Tim Roth (although nothing here, either), but ultimately the 95 minute film drags as if it were three hours.
Email this article
MR. RIGHT (MA15+)
CAST: Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Tim Roth, Anson Mount, James Ransone, Michael Eklund, RZA
PRODUCER: Bradely Gallo, Michael A. Helfant, Lawrence Mattis
DIRECTOR: Paco Cabezas
SCRIPT: Max Landis
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Daniel Aranyo
EDITOR: Tom Wilson
MUSIC: Aaron Zigman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mora LePere-Schloop
RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 16, 2016