Speaking of films that promised big stars but ultimately left fans disappointed, this breezy Gore Verbinski action comedy paired Pitt and Julia Roberts — possibly the two biggest movie stars in the world at the time — but left them wanting more.
Like “Kalifornia,” this film is remembered as lesser Pitt but has plenty of good things going for it. The two leads are clearly enjoying each other, a pre-“Sopranos” James Gandolfini shines as a gay hitman, and there are solid supporting turns from JK Simmons, Bob Balaban … all punctuated by a Harry Lime-like cameo from the immortal Gene Hackman.
All of the above are jockeying for position ins search of a near-mythical antique pistol, with Pitt playing a goofy errand runner for the mob. This is the list’s first sighting of “quirky Pitt,” as his character takes delight in El Caminos, stumbles around Mexico and nearly gets himself killed a half dozen times; his character feels like a distant cousin to the Pitt in “Burn Before Reading.” But ultimately, although “The Mexican” tries its darnedest to be quirky good, it too often winds up quirky boring.