The Merry Gentleman
What happened to Michael Keaton? He is an attractive actor with terrific comedic timing. So what happened? He is rarely seen, and when he is, he chooses material like this that squanders his talent.
Here he directs a disappointing script by Ron Lazzeretti in a movie that has one of the slowest first hours I’ve ever had the misfortune to sit through and an ending that isn’t.
Frank Logan (Keaton) is a cold-blooded hit man. Kate Frazier (Kelly Macdonald) is an unfortunate Irish lass who married an abusive husband, runs away, and then is pursued by an interested cop, Dave Murcheson (Tom Bastounes) and Frank, not to mention her psycho husband. What a life!
The first hour is unbelievably slow. I walked into the movie predisposed to like it and feeling great. After about 30 minutes, I was fighting torpor. This thing is a great antidote for insomnia. Then, for about 15 minutes, the interest picks up. But when it ends, it doesn’t, which leads one to the conclusion that sitting through this is a complete and total waste of time.
Wasted are very good performances by Macdonald and Bastounes. Keaton displays constant, cold emotionless. We learn nothing about Frank. We don’t know why he’s killing people or how he came to be an assassin or what he thinks about it. We don’t know how he got to where he is. We don’t know why he finds himself attracted to Kate. We know and learn nothing about him.
We also don’t know why Kate is such a victim, or why she chooses such losers. In short, this is a shallow film that presents characters with no rhyme, reason, or explanation for who they are. In the end the only thing one learns from the movie is that it has wasted 93 perfectly good minutes.