||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (June 2013)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gore Verbinski|
|Produced by||Christopher Ball
|Written by||J.H. Wyman|
J. K. Simmons
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Edited by||Craig Wood|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Release date(s)||March 2, 2001|
|Running time||123 minutes|
|Box office||$147,845,033 (total)|
The script was originally intended to be filmed as an independent production without major motion picture stars, but Roberts and Pitt, who had for some time been looking for a project they could do together, learned about it and decided to make it. The movie was then advertised as a typical romantic comedy star vehicle, somewhat misleadingly, as the script does not focus solely on the Pitt/Roberts relationship and the two share relatively little screen time together. Ultimately, the film earned $66.8 million at the U.S. box office.
The story follows Jerry Welbach (Brad Pitt) as he travels through Mexico to find a valuable antique gun, The Mexican, and smuggle it into the United States. Five years earlier, Welbach had caused a traffic accident in which he hit the car of local mobster Arnold Margolese (Gene Hackman), who was jailed for five years after the police searched his car following the crash, finding someone tied up in his trunk. In compensation for the jail time, Welbach has been sent on various errands by Margolese's second-in-command, Bernie Nayman (Bob Balaban). Retrieving the gun will be his final errand. Welbach has a girlfriend, Samantha (Julia Roberts), whom he argues with constantly and who leaves Jerry prior to the trip over his lack of commitment to their relationship.
Jerry arrives in Mexico and makes his way to pick up Beck (David Krumholtz), the Margolese employee now in possession of the gun. There, a drunk Beck tells Jerry about the gun's history as a suicide weapon used as part of a jilted love-triangle between a woman, a nobleman, and the son of the gunsmith who forged the weapon, as well as its curse to misfire. Jerry helps Beck to his car, only for the man to be killed by celebratory gunfire from a nearby festival. Panicked but determined, Jerry buries the body and then calls Bernie to report on the situation, only for his vehicle to be stolen while he makes the call, the gun still inside. Jerry steals another vehicle and attempts to follow.
- Brad Pitt as Jerry Welbach
- Julia Roberts as Samantha Barzel
- James Gandolfini as Winston Baldry (Leroy)
- J. K. Simmons as Ted Slocum
- Bob Balaban as Bernie Nayman
- Sherman Augustus as Well Dressed Black Man
- Michael Cerveris as Frank
- David Krumholtz as Beck
- Gene Hackman as Arnold Margolese
The film opened at #1 at the North American box office making $20,108,829 USD in its opening weekend, although the film had a 39% decline in earnings the following week, it was enough to keep the film at the top spot for another week.
It holds a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus states that "Though The Mexican makes a good attempt at originality, its ponderous length makes it wear out its welcome. Also, those looking forward to seeing Roberts and Pitt paired up may end up disappointed, as they are kept apart for most of the movie."
- The Mexican at the Internet Movie Database
- The Mexican at Box Office Mojo
- The Mexican at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Mexican at Metacritic