The next James Bond film may be Pierce Brosnan's last, but why is that? Is he tired of the role that made him a star? Does he think he can be more profitable in roles outside of Bond? These questions popped into my head as I watched The Tailor of Panama, a movie about a British spy (Brosnan) who blackmails a tailor (Rush) to give him insight to the Panama Canal.
It strikes me odd that Brosnan is considering leaving his role of James Bond, even though that he is really known for nothing else (a small character in Mrs. Doubtfire, maybe). He's done a couple other films, but none of them have been blockbusters, and none have been that great. Furthermore, all his movies seem to be just like James Bond anyway; 1999's The Thomas Crown Affair has Brosnan playing a civilized thief who seduces a woman, and now, in 2001, Brosnan is a British spy.
The Tailor of Panama is a strange movie, to say the least. It has a serious storyline with serious consequences, yet the movie never takes itself seriously. Most of the lines are witty, clever, and often very sexual, and the way the plot twists and turns can only be deemed as coincidental and darkly humorous. Many of the characters, including Brosnan and Rush, are equally humorous.
Brosnan plays one hideous spy, meaning that he is the scum of the earth. He will seduce any woman to get what he wants (and any woman he wants), and he will lie, blackmail, and steal to get ahead. Rush, on the other hand, is the real good guy, but he has a tendency to lie with intentions of making a lot of money, but you can tell that he is only going to end up getting in trouble.
The movie is funny at times and once in a while suspenseful, although it is never meant to be a thriller. At least I hope not.
That's the main problem with The Tailor of Panama. The movie is a dark comedy in the form of a serious thriller, and I couldn't really tell what the intentions of the film are. In fact, not that much happens in the movie, and everything that does happen is based on a web of lies. The story does make a few clever plot turns, but not enough to keep the audience completely engaged. Overall, The Tailor of Panama is pretty boring, although it just barely manages to keep everyone's attention.
I like the script, but the film drags on for so long without any clear direction that it is hard to really get into the film. As I watched it, I found it somewhat similar to the Ian Fleming "James Bond" novels, only without any real bad guy. And not as good.
I liked The Tailor of Panama, but I would never watch it again. While it was amusing to watch, it really isn't that interesting, and isn't that exciting. Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush especially deliver good performances, but they shouldn't be too proud of this one being on their resume.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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