Martha (Anna Kendrick) doesn’t have much luck at relationships, although she is adorable and quirky her relations always seem to end with her partner finding someone more adventurous/slutty y’know the type. In a wine fueled rebound and an attempt to become adventurous she meets, a guy, through a collapsing stack of Trojan condoms – he’s different, charming in a homeless sense, he jokes about killing people. What more could a girl want?
The lovable mystery man (Sam Rockwell) is known to man as Clown Nose, why? Well prior to killing the men who have hired him to kill their targets – he wears a clown nose! Simples right? He kills the contract givers of the people they want killed. He kills, the killers – thus preventing the killings! This is how Clown Nose believes he’s doing the world a favour. Then he meets Martha and his life seems complete, apart from all those folk trying to kill him!
Described as modern take of Grosse Point Blank, Tokarev Director, Paco Cabezas delivers a romantic comedy with a deadly twist from writer Max Landis, writer behind American Ultra & Victor Frankenstein. I now feel that it “makes so much sense now” that I know it was written by Max Landis, his scripts and stories always seem to have this hyper child’s enthusiasm and energy about them. His work seems clear in the scene where Rockwell’s character discusses the natural connection between them as a couple, this flow and natural vibe between one-another.
Sam Rockwell does well, he essentially is a safe bet in all film roles, and he always just brings it to each performance. He’s charismatic and crazy rolled all into one. Anna Kendrick is different, she’s normally really good in the past roles I’ve seen her in, but the character of Martha plays out almost like a really awkward rambling female Jessie Eisenberg/Liz Lemon – its grating. Although combine Rockwell and Kendrick they play off of each other quite well. The knife throwing scene and some of the action towards the end will remind you of two young careless Nicholas Cages. Yes, I just wrote that.
The subplot that the duo get tangled in is surrounding crime family where the younger more hungry brother is trying to edge out his older sibling and take over the family business. We’ve also got Tim Roth appearing as a figure from ‘Clown Noses’ past, his character is tracking him down by exploiting low-level bounty hunters who struggle to outsmart Clown Nose. Hell, even the RZA shows up to provide some light humour in an amusing reoccurring role as nonchalant gun-for-hire Steve!
It is a fun film, definitely more zany and daft compared to the standard rom-com stencil.
[Reviewed originally as part of 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival]