Review: Hit man rom-com ‘Mr. Right’ misses its mark

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

“Mr. Right” is very, very, very wrong.

This action-based romantic comedy stars Anna Kendrick as Martha McKay, who is on the rebound after she catches her boyfriend cheating on her. She then falls for a character played by Sam Rockwell despite numerous red flags, including but not limited to A) the fact that he won’t tell her his name; B) he carries around a clown nose in his pocket; C) he throws knives at her head on their second date; D) he is constantly joking about killing people; E) he actually does make a living killing people.

Upon discovering Rockwell’s character is a hit man, Martha is given pause, but only slightly. Turns out she’s not only turned on by murder, but she’s sort of into it herself. “Am I being crazy?” she asks at one point. Yes honey, you are.

The film’s premise could work in a “Natural Born Killers” psycho-lovers-on-the-run kind-of way, but director Paco Cabezas (working from Max Landis’ script) positions it as a cutesy boy-meets-girl love story and it never even slightly convinces. Unless Kendrick’s character is dealing with severe mental issues, which the script makes no allusions toward, she would be running for the hills immediately upon meeting the clown-nosed hit man.

Rockwell, as he has a tendency to do, plays his character about four shades too cool; his dance moves recall the ones he busted in the first “Charlie’s Angels” film, when he was roughly the age Kendrick is now. Kendrick, her character supposedly intoxicated by love, plays the second half of the film like she’s actually drunk, which would only slightly help to explain her actions.

It’s rare that a romantic comedy misses its target by this much. For a movie about a hit man, its aim is remarkably off.

agraham@detroitnews.com

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‘Mr. Right’

GRADE: D

Rated R for violence and language throughout

Running time: 92 minutes