Anna Kendrick is back on the silver screen with her new movie with Sam Rockwell, Mr. Right. In this new film, Anna Kendrick brings her spunky attitude as her character, Martha, tries to go in and out of weird relationships.
The premise of the movie seems promising; Martha (Anna Kendrick) has been cheated on and she is trying to move on from her ex-boyfriend. She is on her way to completing the self-destructive rule book for break ups when she meets Francis (Sam Rockwell) who just happens to be shopping in the same convenience store.
Their meeting leans towards that textbook love story scene when the two characters bump into each other. However, in this case, Francis does something that intrigues Martha. It might have been Martha’s bad taste in men that attracts her to Francis, but there is something weird about these two. For one, Francis just happens to be a professional assassin.
“You’re like, the greatest, and then you kill people.”
Mr. Right, helmed by Paco Cabezas, is a mix of hyperactive comedy and traditional love story. The twist comes in when Martha decides to join the killing mayhem and become Francis’ partner in crime.
So Where Did They Go Wrong?
A film is made of a team of talents. In this case, Mr. Right has American Ultra’s screenwriter Max Landis, who is known for calling out Hollywood on its lack of originality.
Unfortunately for Max Landis, his new film does not represent what he’s previously said.
“Is trying to make original movies in a big way just not a valid career path anymore? Are original ideas over?”
“Mr. Right is Grosse Pointe Blank meets Dexter. Liman meets Tarantino. Derivative idea meets sloppy execution. My head met my hands.”
Many critics, including Reel Film, have noted that the film’s failure can be blamed on Max Landis. He is trying to mix quirky elements while moving towards “obnoxiously broad” points that no longer translate to comedy. They also note that Max Landis’ “relentless emphasis on the oddball antics of even the most minor of periphery figures” is the biggest drowning force of the movie.
Relying on Actors Alone
Because the screenplay is the basis of the entire movie, Max Landis has been criticized heavily on his decisions about the film. Mr. Right could still become a hit because of Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell’s natural chemistry, but their talents alone could not elevate the overall quality of the film.
The Young Folks wrote that though Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell had Hollywood pulling for them, “these likeable actors have little to work with.”
“Like asking a chef to make a sandwich without bread, or a politician to deliver a speech without lying, Rockwell and Kendrick do their best in a film that lacks the necessities: sensible plotting, meticulous cinematography, and well-paced editing.”
Max Landis’ American Ultra is a forgivable mix of contradictions. You have gruesomeness in comedy, charm in murder, and that weird love partnership in the characters. However, repeating the same format in Mr. Right, especially with the hollowness of the plot, the same recognition and appreciation could not be handed out to Landis this time.
The bottom line is, Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell are the only good things in this movie. If not for their own innate acting skills, Mr. Right would just have been one of those “try-hard” comedy movies.
[Image via YouTube/Zero Media]