So I watched Mr. Right…
This is a film that I was really looking forward to seeing but just didn’t get around to. It’s strange to think that it came out over a year ago and I’m only getting around to watching it now. I did actually like this film but I don’t think the delay was earth-shattering.
Okay, basic plot: After going through a tough breakup with her cheating ex, Martha (Anna Kendrick) is left in a bit of a tailspin. Things seem to be turning around when Martha meets a mysterious stranger (Sam Rockwell). The two have instant chemistry despite the fact that Martha seems to know nothing about him except how she feels and that he has penchant for making casual jokes about killing people. Martha soon discovers that these aren’t jokes as her perfect guy is actually a professional hitman. Before she can decide how she feels about this the pair find themselves embroiled in a mob sibling rivalry and fighting for their lives.
This movie reminded me a lot of Baby Driver in that, it’s so obsessed with trying to be quirky and innovative that it often just comes across as cheesy and forced. This all made sense to me when I looked through the credits and saw that Max Landis was this film’s screenwriter. Landis does try to be innovative and tell stories through a fresh lens but his films (Victor Frankenstein and American Ultra) are often wacky and lack realism. Now of course this is a movie, realism is allowed to take a back seat but Landis’ screenplays never seem balanced. The characters aren’t eccentric and wacky because of their natural idiosyncrasies but rather merely because the script said so.
This is a problem that I had with this film. Nothing feels grounded in reality. No one in the film reacts the way that a normal person would react to the film’s events. This takes away from the comedy because real world sobriety juxtaposed with the insanity of the events of this film would have made for great pieces of humour. It’s not only Landis’ script that does this but also the performance of one of the film’s leads. Anna Kendrick’s performance in this film is completely off. I wouldn’t call what she does in this movie acting but rather “forcing”. A lot of the time it feels as if she’s forcing characteristics on to the character that she doesn’t truly believe in. Martha is meant to be this weird, off-centre, interesting woman and Kendrick delivers this meek, scatterbrained mouse who pretends to be the things previously listed. The performance never feels natural.
Now someone who does do good work in this film is Sam Rockwell. I still say he’s one of the most underrated talents in Hollywood. He’s such a versatile actor but pair him up with an out there, little bit cooky character and he truly shines. I was also impressed with the martial arts skills that he showcased in this film. Him and Kendrick also had good chemistry. Now I did criticise Kendrick earlier but as the film progresses she does find her feet and things start to feel more natural especially in the moments where she’s opposite Rockwell.
Direction is something I hardly ever comment on in a comedy but I will say Paco Cabezas does well here. There are a few action sequences in the film that are well shot and neatly edited. You always get a nice view of everything which can be a bit of a rareity in an action-comedy or really in any action movie.
Overall, Mr. Right is worth a laugh. It’s not gut-busting or never-ending laughter but you will have a good time watching it. Rockwell is this film’s anchor and Landis’ script – when it’s not being overly absurd – manages to entertain. Worth watching but there’s no need to rush. 6/10