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The Tailor of Panama

The Tailor of Panama

John Bore-man?

The previews for The Tailor of Panama made it look like a very good action/thriller. Unfortunately, it also gave away some of the plot twists. To make matters worse, the trailer is actually much more entertaining than the movie itself.

Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan) is a secret British agent who has done a few too many things wrong. Now, to get him out of the way, they're sending him to Panama on a new mission. Osnard enlists the help of Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), who is in desperate need of some cash. But Harry only gets paid if he comes up with something juicy for Andy.

So he makes it up.

Harry has married a rich American woman (Jamie Lee Curtis), and kept his past secret from her for fear of losing her. Andy, who knows everything, threatens to tell her everything if Harry doesn't cooperate. And so begins this tale of lies, sex, and intrigue.

Widely touted as "a suspense thriller for adults," I can honestly say (as an adult) that even most adults would not enjoy this film. Nothing really happens until the final act, and by that time you're so bored out of your skull that you don't care. There are no thrills, no excitement, not even some cheaply done action sequences to tide you over.

The only saving grace of this film are the actors. Brosnan's Andy Osnard is pretty much the exact opposite of James Bond, and it's nice to see him playing a character like this. Geoffrey Rush is just such a good actor that it seems impossible for him to turn in a bad performance. Here, however, he seems a little dryer than usual, though still good.. Curtis's character seems like it could have been deleted, and only referenced, and there would have been the same effect. Other supporting actors include Brendan Gleeson, Catherine McCormack, Leonor Varela and Harold Pinter.

I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. The cast, the trailer, and the premise all sounded like it could have been great. I must say, I was very disappointed.

The picture and sound are good, but I've seen better. The picture is in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and the audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital. Extras include a director's commentary, a conversation with Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush, an alternate ending (not nearly as good as the one in the film), and the usuals.

The Tailor of Panama, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
109 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16X9 enhanced, 5.1 dolby digital
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis and Brendan Gleeson
Screenplay by Andrew Davies and John Le Carre and John Boorman
Produced and Directed by John Boorman.


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Updated May 13, 2006