Cinema: The Mexican

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Feckless Jerry (Brad Pitt) is sent south of the border to retrieve an antique pistol for his Mob bosses. His girl, spunky Samantha (Julia Roberts), thinks this desertion is just another of his many failures at intimacy and leaves him for a new life in Las Vegas. On her way, a soulful hit man (The Sopranos' James Gandolfini) takes her hostage in an attempt to focus Jerry's attention on his job. Half comedy, half action piece, the movie runs sputteringly on the not inconsiderable charm of its stars. But basically it is languid, indeterminate and uninvolving.

--By Richard Schickel

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