Synopsis: A girl falls for the “perfect” guy, who happens to have a very fatal flaw: he’s a hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him.
Release Date: April 8. 2016 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Comedy
Set in New Orleans, Mr. Right stars Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods, The Last Five Years) as Martha McKay, a young woman who, while trying to get over a cheating boyfriend, meets a charismatic stranger named Francis (Sam Rockwell from Poltergeist and Laggies). At first, Martha thinks that Francis is her Mr. Right, but she soon learns that he has a sordid past; he is an ex-government agent-turned-hitman who, having developed a perverse sort of moral code, turns the tables on those who hire him and kills them instead. Not only is Francis being hunted by a ruthless and cunning FBI agent named Reynolds (The Hateful Eight‘s Tim Roth), but the cartels who have lost men trying to hire Francis are after him as well. Martha has to decide whether to cut her losses or stick with her Mr. Right and join in on the mayhem.
Directed by Paco Cabezas (Rage) and written by Max Landis (Victor Frankenstein, Chronicle), Mr. Right is a schizophrenic little movie. It’s not that it’s incoherent, it just tries to be too many different movies at the same time so it doesn’t really do any one genre very well. It starts off as a fairly creative romantic comedy, with Martha and Francis going through the motions of getting to know each other, but the shadow of Francis’ other life is always hanging over him – even when he admits the entire truth to Martha, she thinks that he’s joking. All that primping and courting is pretty entertaining stuff.
At around the midpoint, however, Mr. Right devolves into a mediocre action movie – very mediocre in fact, because none of the actors are really action stars, and it shows. The handful of fight scenes are really strangely put-together. Rockwell does alright in his fight scenes, but mainly because he embraces the tongue-in-cheekiness of the whole thing. Everyone else, including Roth and Kendrick, seem to be out of their element, looking clumsy and stiff.
Mr. Right is not a typical comedy, and it should get kudos for that – it’s not entirely successful at what it tries to do, but at least it tries to do something different. It may have trouble finding an audience; it’s not action-packed enough for the adrenaline junkies, but it’s not lovey-dovey enough for the rom-com crowd. The audience that it does find, however, will really like it.
Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell have a chemistry in Mr. Right that is very fun to watch. It’s not really a sexual chemistry – actually, the sex scenes are a bit awkward – it’s more like an extreme comfort level which allows each of them to play off of the other, finishing each other’s sentences and interrupting their thoughts without seeming rude or impolite about it. Even though their characters just met, they seem to have been best friends (or even soulmates) for years, and they’ve got a cool dynamic going on, constantly messing with each other and teasing each other in playful ways. There’s not a lot of chemistry between the other cast members, but that doesn’t matter; it’s Kendrick and Rockwell who command all of the attention in Mr. Right, and together, their collective performance is comfortable and conversational.
There’s nothing side-splittingly funny about Mr. Right, but there are a few moments in there that will get the audience chuckling. The film has a mumblecore, improvisational style of comedy that relies heavily upon the interactions between Martha and Francis, with laughs being derived from the verbal witticisms that are passed between the two of them. Some of the repartee includes made-up names like “Suckball McGee,” rhetorical questions like “are you new to eating?,” and awesomely hilarious quips like “he just Scooby-Doo’d himself, unmasked himself and showed that he was a secret a-hole.” It sounds strange when taken out of context, but these phases are amusing when they’re said by Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. On the physical comedy side of the fence, there’s a funny fight scene where Rockwell breakdances while fighting another hitman, but that’s really all there is visually. When Mr. Right is funny, it’s really funny, but those moments aren’t frequent enough for the movie to be considered hysterical. Still, Mr. Right will earn a few laughs here and there.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Paco Cabezas
- Producer(s): Bradley GalloMichael A. HelfantRick JacobsLawrence Mattis
- Screenwriter(s): Max Landis
- Cast: Sam Rockwell (Mr. Right/Francis)Anna Kendrick (Martha McKay)Tim Roth (Hopper/Reynolds) James Ransone (Von Cartigan)Anson Mount (Richard Cartigan)Michael Eklund (Johnny Moon)RZA (Shotgun Steve)Katie Nehra (Sophie)
- Editor(s): Tom Wilson
- Cinematographer: Daniel Aranyó
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer: Jillian Kreiner
- Casting Director(s): Orly Sitowitz
- Music Score: Aaron Zigman
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA