MR RIGHT. US, 2015. Starring Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Tim Roth, James Ransone, Anson Mount, Michael Eklund, Katie Nehra. RZA. Directed by Paco Cabes. 90 minutes. Rated MA (Strong violence and coarse language).
If you thought this title sounded like a romantic comedy, you would be correct – but not entirely. Once you get into the film, you will see that the title has more than a touch of irony concerning the alleged Mr Right.
The writer of this film screenplay, Max Landis, has a weird sense of humour (the amoral characters of American Ultra, Chronicle) when characters have strong moral code but it is not exactly the moral code that the audience would subscribe to.
Sam Rockwell has played enough oddball characters in his career so he has no difficulty in playing Francis, a pleasant enough character to meet at first glance, but in fact, a former CIA assassin, excluded from his job, but he has had something of a conversion! He now disapproves of the morality of those who hire him for hits – and he executes them.
The person who is looking for Mr Right is Martha, played by Anna Kendrick, disappointed in a faithless boyfriend, accidentally meeting Mr Right in a supermarket and their both falling in love.
What is she to do when she finds out what he really does? It doesn’t take long when he excuses himself and goes to talk with another man on a bridge and then shoots him. Martha goes into shock.
Then Mr Right ‘s CIA minder, Hopper, turns up in pursuit. He is played by Tim Roth who at any other time might have taken on the character of Francis himself. They are an odd couple.
While the infatuation and the romance between Francis and Martha continue, there are even more tangles when a group of thugs in New Orleans want to get rid of Francis, two rival brothers, a group of heavily armed gangsters, Martha being abducted, and Francis coming to the rescue though, at one moment, shackled to Hopper.
The dialogue is often flip, the material of spoof, so that the central characters have a cheerfulness about them despite all the odds. Lucky that Francis is so adept with guns and with some martial arts.
There is a happy ever after ending in North Vietnam – with both Francis and Martha contentedly getting the better of would-be assassins.
Icon Released June 16th
Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.