Mr Right turns out wrong

Charming actors Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick (both above) fail to save Mr Right from a lousy, confusing plot.
Charming actors Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick (both above) fail to save Mr Right from a lousy, confusing plot.PHOTO: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS

REVIEW / ACTION COMEDY MR RIGHT (M18)

95 minutes/Opens tomorrow/1/5 stars

The story: Depressed after a failed relationship, Martha (Anna Kendrick) goes on the rebound with the charming and funny Francis (Sam Rockwell). Just her luck that he turns out to be a principled assassin - one who kills those who order the hits while wearing a red clown nose. Joining the fray is Hopper (Tim Roth), the man who taught Francis everything he knows, but is now hot on his trail.

At one point in the film, Anna Kendrick declares: "I want to do something terrible." Well, she got her wish.

Mr Right is the answer to what happens when bad movies happen to good actors.

Kendrick is an immensely likable actress who can sing and act and flits easily between genres from the relationship musical The Last Five Years (2014) to the buoyant drama Up In The Air (2009), for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Sam Rockwell is a charismatic performer who held moviegoers' attention in the mostly one-man showcase in the sci-fi thriller Moon (2009).

Spanish director Paco Cabezas helmed the action crime thriller Rage (2014) and that is the emotion you are most likely to feel after watching this travesty.

Also to blame is American screenwriter Max Landis (American Ultra, 2015), who has no idea how to mesh together a romantic comedy with an action thriller. The murderer- for-hire part is confusing and ultimately inconsequential as it involves a bunch of cartoonish thugs.

In one long head-scratching scene, Francis throws knives at Martha to demonstrate some mumbo-jumbo about how he is able to slip into the current of time and slow it down.

So he is some kind of superhero freak who wears a clown nose? And yet he can be overwhelmed easily when the story needs him to be?

Martha should have fled in the other direction the moment the first blade zinged past her. Which is exactly what the actors should have done.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'Mr Right turns out wrong'. Print Edition | Subscribe