A girl falls for the "perfect" guy, who happens to have a very fatal flaw: he's a hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him.
Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick have great chemistry together in 'Mr. Right', a movie that got a very limited release back in April of this year, but is now available to all on home video. The story (which was written by Max Landis – yes, that's John's son) has Rockwell playing a highly skilled hitman named Francis, and Kendrick as an unlucky-in-love, slightly neurotic, and basically borderline crazy (but in a sweet way!) Martha, whose 'meet cute' (as the late, great Roger Ebert used to call it) with Francis happens when the two run into each other at a convenience store and he basically talks his way into taking her out on a date.
The movie opens with a brief introduction to these two characters. Martha is preparing a romantic dinner for her boyfriend, only to have him return home with another girl in his arms. We get our first glimpse of Francis arriving at the hotel room of a woman who (sight unseen) has hired him to kill her husband. Francis, you see, is a hitman with a change of heart. He now spends his days going after the people who are putting hits out on others – making himself the target of some very dangerous men.
One of the refreshing things about the relationship that develops between Francis and Martha is that there aren't any secrets between the two of them. Francis doesn't pretend to be anything but a killer, and Martha doesn't hold back any of her eccentricities, either. They're the perfect couple, albeit one that finds themselves running from the bad guys and getting involved in shoot-em-ups throughout the movie.
Speaking of the men trying to find and kill Francis, that's the weakest part of 'Mr. Right'. Francis is being sought by a pair of brothers (played by James Ransone and Anson Mount), as well as a former colleague (played by Tim Roth), whose true identity and connection with Francis I was never quite sure of, aside from the fact that the two men seemed to have worked together in the past. RZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan) pops up as a hired gun as well, but he turns out to be one of the good guys before all is said and done. It's Roth that is really wasted here, given a one-note character to play, although viewers do get to witness the actor's expertise at accents when he takes on a Southern drawl during some moments with Kendrick's character, and completely nails it.
Because the witty (and often profane) banter between Rockwell and Kendrick is so good and because most of the action sequences and material involving the men trying to find Rockwell's character is not, 'Mr. Right' is very much a mixed bag of a movie – delightful in some parts and a typical run-of-the-mill action-comedy elsewhere. Yet, even though I only enjoyed about half of this movie, I also walked away from it hoping I might see these characters again. That's how good Rockwell and Kendrick are together.
I can't quite bring myself to recommend 'Mr. Right', but I certainly think it's worth renting – as I can imagine some might really wind up loving this movie, although I can also imagine those who will dislike it with an equal passion. I'm split down the middle, but certainly endorse the Rockwell/Kendrick moments wholeheartedly. Maybe just have your remote handy to zip by standard action stuff.
The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Mr. Right' shows up on home video in this Blu-ray/Digital HD release. The 50GB Blu-ray is housed inside a standard Elite keepcase, along with an insert containing a code for either an iTunes or UltraViolet digital copy of the movie. A slipcover with artwork matching that of the keepcase's slick slides overtop. The Blu-ray is front-loaded with trailers for Term Life, Search Party, London Has Fallen, and 'Kubo and the Two Strings'. The main menu is the typical Universal design, with a still of the box cover image and menu selections vertically down the left side of the screen.
The Blu-ray in this release is region-free.
'Mr. Right' was shot digitally and is presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. For the most part, the image here is exactly what one would expect from a digitally shot movie, with a nice level of details and colors that really 'pop' at times (the wide color gamut in 'Mr. Right' is one of its most appealing factors). However the visual presentation does have some issues that keeps it from getting a higher rating.
First, there's an inconsistency with skin tones in the movie, due in large part to the inconsistency in the image from scene to scene. Some scenes have that 'cool' look that seems to be the norm for so many action films these days, yet other locations/set pieces in 'Mr. Right' are quite warm-looking. This leads to facial tones that look pale in some moments and much redder in others. Also, while noise isn't much of an issue, black levels are only decent throughout – although thankfully there aren't many dark or dimly lit moments in the movie – most of it takes place in well-lit areas and during the daytime.
Finally, I did notice aliasing in the image – primarily during establishing shots when the camera is either panning across or up or down a building or other structure. This isn't unusual for a digital image, but it was more noticeable here than in most titles that I review.
But even given these mild glitches, the overall quality is strong, and the majority of buyers and/or viewers should be happy with this transfer.
The only available audio here is an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, which does a nice job of providing a semi-immersive listen. Most of the fun from the audio comes during many of the action sequences of 'Mr. Right' where gunfire exchanges can be heard both coming from and bouncing off of the rear speakers. The movie also contains a number of musical tunes (in addition to composer Aaron Zigman's score), which are all rendered quite nicely on this lossless track. A rainstorm that takes place during the movie's climax also gets noticeable surround use – although it's more subtle than fully immersive.
Dialogue is clear throughout and mostly up-front, although there are a few instances of voices coming from one of the rear speakers. There are no problems with glitches or dropouts in the track, and even when the movie amps things up with gunplay and fighting, the mix is never disproportionate to the spoken word. So while far from a reference quality track, the audio here more than serves the needs of this movie.
In addition to the lossless English track, subtitles are offered in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
'Mr. Right' is a fun little film that may have been a whole lot more entertaining had it nixed many of the action sequences and just focused on the interchange between stars Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick. They're the real reason to check out this movie, although I suspect many may find the plot and proceedings too uneven. At the very least, it's worth a rental to see if you love it or loath it.