Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell join forces for Mr Right, an action-comedy that sees the latter play a hitman with a conscience.
I think I need to reevaluate my policy on Anna Kendrick. Not because she's a terrible actress and not because she isn't as cute as a bag of kittens (she definitely is), but because my undying insistence on seeing anything she pops up in often means sitting through a film as terrible, cliched and boring as Mr Right.
In the right circumstances, this film should've been a slam-dunk; you've got a fun premise (Kendrick plays Martha, a lovelorn 20-something who falls for Francis, played by Rockwell, a charismatic hitman) and a great lead couple with insatiable chemistry. This is where Mr Right works; the casting. Kendrick and Rockwell are both great actors who work well together, but the material they have to work with is really problematic.
The two flirt and banter back and forth, and at first it feels like harmless fun - after all, this is a comedy ain't it? But the frenetic irreverence soon takes its toll. Max Landis' screenplay is so snappy and self-referential that any attempt at sincerity falls flat. None of the characters feel like real people, because real people don't talk or behave like this. They'd be carted off to the loony bin if they did.
Of course, a lot of movies fall victim to this from time to time, but never on this scale - every character in this film won't stop talking. They've always got a cute quip or an intelligent reference up their sleeve, like they've OD'd on blue smarties, drunk six gallons of coffee and binged all six seasons of Community in a single night. After 90 minutes (and boy, what a long 90 minutes they were!) it gets really tiring.
If the dialogue is too much and insufferable, the action is uninspired and too thin and far between. Rather than leaning into its fun premise that could potentially get our heroes get into all manner of wacky situations, the film just sees the two prance around New Orleans making doe-eyes at each other, being chased by the cartel and winding up in a poorly-shot firefight in some dilapidated old mansion.
So if the action doesn't work, does the romance? Not quite. Like I said, the two share great chemistry - but the creaky cliches are too obvious to ignore. He's the charming gent who can dance, joke and hold a conversation about anything. She's the manic pixie dream girl who always has a glass of wine in her hand and can't find the right guy. Even the meet-cute is lame; they bump into one another at a supermarket and knock over a pile of condom boxes. Geddit? It's funny because the condoms are falling in slow-motion. Groan.
The Verdict: 3/10
So many wrongs definitely don't make Mr Right a good time. I like Anna Kendrick, but not enough to recommend that anyone commit themselves to watching this sober or in the theatre (or both) like I did.
Mr Right is in cinemas across Australia now