Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Mexican

Go To

"By the grace of God or I don't know what, honey, you have managed to Forrest Gump your way through this. If we run now, we're going to be running the rest of our lives."

A 2001 crime comedy film directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.

Jerry Welbach (Pitt) is a basically decent guy with pretty poor driving skills. Through inattention at the wheel, he manages to crash his car into that of Arnold Margolese, a notorious gangster. Margolese just happened to have a body in the trunk of his car, leading to his arrest when the cops came to investigate the accident. Now Jerry is in his employ, at least until Margolese leaves prison... and much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Samantha (Roberts).

After five years of running errands for Margolese, Jerry is almost out of his debt. He just has one job left, a simple delivery. All he has to do is fly to Mexico and pick up a very special gun, the eponymous Mexican, then bring it to Margolese. Unfortunately for Jerry, things are about to get complicated. The Mexican is a very valuable commodity, and Margolese isn't the only one who wants it. With multiple buyers hoping to secure the gun, Jerry finds himself on the run from everything. And Sam, eager to leave him behind, is taken as collateral by the notorious hitman Leroy. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues.


This film provides examples of:

  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other - despite their constant bickering in each other's presence, Sam and Jerry get a couple of these moments towards the end of the film.
  • Backwards-Firing Gun: The eponymous pistol killed its first victim this way when it was being test fired. This lead to the persistent rumor that the pistol was cursed.
  • Badass Driver: Leroy, who manages to make a Volkswagen Beetle look cool as he dodges traffic and big-rigs while abducting Sam.
    • Jerry thinks he's one, but he's really just crazy.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Jerry walks into one to find Beck.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sam can be very sweet (if a tiny bit of a drama queen when it comes to her relationship), but with Jerry's life on the line she has no problem pulling the trigger
  • Black Comedy: The film walks the line between this and Dramedy.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Sam walks around covered in the real Leroy's blood after Leroy shoots him at close range.
  • Bury Your Gays: Frank, though it's worth noting that it was because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and not because of his sexuality.
    • Winston/Leroy as well.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jerry gets treated like crap buy everybody and everything in the universe, and that is before he first gets the cursed gun.
  • The Cameo: Gene Hackman as Margolese.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Beck
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Mexican itself, in a literal example of this trope.
  • Convenient Misfire: The legend of "The Mexican" involves the gun undergoing so many of these (among other disasters) during its creation process that it's believed to be cursed.
  • Compartment Shot: Of Jerry putting a gun into the glovebox of his car.
  • Cool Car: Say it with me... Ellllllll Camiiiiiiinoooooooooooooo!
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Subverted. Winston kills the real Leroy, then tells Sam he's Leroy. But the real Leroy isn't actually dead, since he was wearing a Kevlar vest. Leroy comes back after them, but Winston kills him for real before he can reveal who he really is.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Jerry; it's what landed him into debt with Margolese in the first place.
    • Also, at the end of the movie, Jerry purposefully crashes his car more than once, first to get the Mexican back and the second time just because Sam wouldn't stop talking.
  • Driven to Suicide: The gunsmith's daughter on the final telling of The Mexican's story. The man she loved, the gunsmith's assistant, had just been killed by the Jerk Ass general that she had been given to, and she didn't fired the gun to save him because she wasn't sure the thing would work. She's explicitly told that her heart was broken.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Leroy has one on his arm that says "Winston." Sam presses him on its meaning, but Leroy says it's the name of a guy he doesn't like. She assumes it's an ex. Actually, it's his real name.
  • Fiery Redhead: Sam
  • Flashback: We get several, as different people recount the origin of the Mexican
  • Gayngster: Leroy. Well, Winston pretending to be Leroy.
  • Here We Go Again!: The film starts with Samantha and Jerry arguing (or more like Samantha having an "It's All About Me" angry girlfriend tirade and threatening to leave him if he goes to Mexico while Jerry points out that he cannot say no to Margolese's request — he will be killed if he refuses) and for the most part being angry about being dragged into the whole situation and blaming Jerry for it... and at the end of the film, once they have reaffirmed that Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other and are Riding into the Sunset, Jerry says one wrong thing and Samantha is going off about leaving him again.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Also Leroy well, the fake one, at least.
    Sam (to Leroy): You know, you're very sensitive for a cold blooded killer.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: At the end Bernie, who has Sam in the trunk of his car, offers to return her safely to Jerry for the Mexican.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Poor Beck. He was drunk and just trying to pee against the wall of a building when a stray bullet from some folks shooting their guns in the air catches him straight in the forehead. This is why celebrating with gunfire isn't such a smart idea.
  • Ironic Echo: "Do you like sex and travel?"
  • Lima Syndrome: Fake Leroy and Sam are actually really affectionate the entire movie... Right up until Jerry kills him.
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission: Jerry is responsible for fetching the Mexican and bringing it to Margolese. Unfortunately, while he gets the gun rather easily, he has a much harder time hanging onto it.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Whether or not the titular gun is cursed. A lot of bad things happen to Jerry from the moment he gets a hold of it, and its backstory is plagued with people who died because it appears to be it will only work correctly if the user has The Power of Love on his side. In the end, the gun (all of several hundred years old and never fired during that time) works perfectly and allows Sam to place a perfect kill shot on Bernie's chest when he threatens Jerry. Even the implication that there was a ring lodged in the gun's barrel, it still comes off as this trope.
  • Never Suicide: Leroy and Sam get back to their hotel to find that Frank, the guy Leroy picked up the previous night, is splattered all over the pavement after seemingly leaping to his death. In reality, the real Leroy has come back to pick up Sam, and killed Frank when he found him in the room.
  • Non-Indicative Name: It's not about a person from Mexico, but a gun.
  • Number Two: Bernie
  • Professional Killers: Leroy and Winston, who was impersonating Leroy
  • The Rashomon: The story of the gun is told several times. Each time is slightly different. On the final time it's said, it is mentioned that the gun's curse was placed by the assistant of the gunsmith that made the gun, because he loved the gunsmith's daughter, and miffed that she was being given to some Jerk Ass general, she made it so the gun wouldn't work unless it was being shot for the sake of The Power of Love.
  • Revealing Reflection: Jerry is changing a flat tire and sees, in the reflection of the hubcap, his supposed ally Leroy pull a gun on him. Leroy ( actually Winston, hired to kill Jerry), not knowing he's been spotted, relents and goes to help with the tire. He then sees the reflection of Jerry pulling his own gun, who takes advantage of the opportunity and shoots Winston.
  • El Spanish "-o": "I need a ride in your El Truck-o to the next town-o."
  • Stockholm Syndrome: If you took a clip of Sam and Fake!Leroy, after the scene where Sam tries to escape from the bathroom window, you wouldn't think that she was being held hostage at all. Sam even encourages Leroy to pick up a guy at a diner and they travel with him. Without Sam ever mentioning the fact that she's being held for ransom for the Mexican.
  • Straight Gay: Considering he's played by James Gandolfini and exhibits no mannerisms (apart from checking out one guy in a diner), Leroy qualifies.
  • Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Subverted. The man from whom Jerry picks up the eponymous gun is killed by a falling bullet from people Firing in the Air a Lot elsewhere in the town.
  • Together in Death: The gunsmith's daughter and the gunsmith's assistant. It was the only time the gun worked right (other than Samantha shooting Bernie) in the hundred-plus years since it's been made.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Ted, who is only out for himself and was setting Jerry up for a hit
    • Bernie Nayman, Margolese's second in command while he's in prison, also counts. Nayman is after the Mexican for himself, and doesn't care whether Jerry lives or dies, just as long as he gets the gun.
  • With or Without You
    Samantha: I'm going [to Las Vegas] with or without you, Jerry. What's it gonna be?


Example of: