It is not often you get a film mash-up involving romantic comedy and action, but Paco Cabezas’ (Rage) latest film attempts just that. While there are admittedly bumps in the road, bottom line is because of the zaniness and the chemistry between the two leads you end up overlooking the film’s flaws and enjoying the watch.
Martha (Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods) finds out the hard way (by walking in on them in a compromising position) that her boyfriend Jeff (Ross Gallo – The Call, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) is cheating on her. Trying to explain where things went wrong for them Jeff tells Martha that she is not adventurous enough.
Her latest breakup sends Martha into a tailspin wondering what about her always makes her choose the wrong guys to fall for. Her best friend and roommate Sophie (Katie Nehra – Half Nelson) attempts to pick up the pieces without much success.
In a chance meeting Martha bumps into a guy in a convenience store. Even though he is as odd as the day is long there is something about him that intrigues her. He asks her out on a date and despite her misgivings they end up spending the rest of the day together. The two are already head over heels. Sophie has some reservations as she finds it is weird that they spend 10 hours together and Martha does not know his name. Martha does not know what to do as she is in love.
In actuality, and he has been upfront from the beginning about it, the guy, who Martha has dubbed Mr. Right (Sam Rockwell – Iron Man 2, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), is a hitman. A hitman with a twist in that he kills the people who hire him. His (kinda) turning away from his profession has led former colleague Hopper (Tim Roth – Pulp Fiction, Resevoir Dogs) to be hunting him down. And he is not the only one after Mr. Right.
What the guy she has fallen for kills someone right in front of her, Martha begins to understand what she has gotten herself into. Hopper, posing as an FBI agent, approaches Martha and tells her all about Mr. Right. What is a girl to do? Follow her heart or walk away? If that is even possible.
Within the romantic comedy genre chemistry is paramount. When it comes to this film Kendrick and Rockwell’s is great. This despite the fact that there is an almost 20 year age difference between them. Rockwell’s character dances through his fight scenes and he and Kendrick are perfect dance partners onscreen. Dunno, it just works and pretty much carries the film. Thankfully because the remaining elements of the film are not great.
The type of screwball action film that Cabezas and screenwriter Max Landis (American Ultra) go for is extremely difficult to do. They forge ahead, but not without some problems or niggly moments. When Anna Kendrick and/or Sam Rockwell are not onscreen the film loses its appeal. You find yourself not really paying any attention and just pining for them to reappear.
The drag is that even though they are trying to do something original and not often done in film they turn to cliché after cliché. Bad decisions, the girl having to be rescued, a secret between the two potential love birds, etc; they are all there.