After her latest boyfriend cheats on her, unlucky-in-love Martha (Anna Kendrick) falls for an oddly principled hit man named Francis (Sam Rockwell) who has decided to kill anyone who hires him to commit murder. While Martha believes she’s finally found the perfect guy, their romance is threatened by an FBI agent (Tim Roth) who’s hunting her new beau.
I’ve had a copy of this for a while, since it was in theaters but I never really had the chance to watch it. Now it is available now on DVD/Blu-Ray so I thought that now is as good of a time as any to finally watch it. Because this was a limited release, it never came to Ottawa so I didn’t actually get to see it in theaters. It was a shame because I was kind of looking forward to it and the pairing of Kendrick and Rockwell. This was fascinating as it wasn’t one that easily comes to mind.
This is not an overly long film, clocking in at 90 minutes, so it does not waste any time at establishing Martha (Kendrick) as an emotionally fragile woman who was getting over a recent breakup. This left her vulnerable which led her to fall for a man named Francis (Rockwell) who happens to be a hitman that kills those who hire him to commit murder. Of course there is a lot more to him as he is being hunted by an FBI agent (Roth) among other things. These “things” aren’t exactly the clearest but more on that later.
Martha is like most characters Kendrick has ever played in a film, a bubbly, upbeat, cooky person. This is what she is known for (from the films I’ve seen) and she doesn’t change here. While this has made her very likeable, in general, in films but in this, at least at the beginning, makes her come off as a little obnoxious. This improves once she meets Francis which gets her out of her funk. Her and Rockwell had great chemistry which made them fun to watch. They each had some great comedic timing which really helped with the story’s silliness when it came to each of their eccentricities.
Francis was a burst of energy throughout, making him compelling to watch. He’s just a goofy, charming, larger-than-life hitman and he plays it very well. He never took himself too seriously and looked like he was having fun which made us have fun with him. Seeing Francis in action Francis was so silly of a character that it didn’t make much sense but that was okay. You not really supposed to think about these little things as much and just accept it and have fun. The film tried to give him some sort of a backstory through Roth’s character but it felt rushed. Roth had a lot of presence here and served as a great foil but he was barely given anything to do.
The other “things” were the fact that Francis, and eventually Martha found themselves unwillingly caught in a battle between a pair of brothers named Von (James Ransone) and Richard Cartigan (Anson Mount). They were probably the baddest guys of a film that consisted mostly of bad guys. They were not very likeable or at least interesting because the film never established them at all other than giving them a convoluted backstory which no one will probably care about. That’s fine too since the film is about Martha and Francis and their relationship before anything else.
This was the best part of the film. This was a romance film but did not play out like a traditional one, obviously. Martha and Francis came together and got closer to one another over the craziness that ensued. While they were great together, they weren’t together enough as this would have allowed their relationship to further develop. A little more backstory on Francis would have been nice as well.
Overall, this was a fun, mindless romantic action comedy with some good performances but could have gone a little further with the story.