Scott Hardie | August 31, 2001
Saw "The Tailor of Panama" today with Kelly and some friends. It's like the 1999 "The Thomas Crown Affair," but good.

Pierce Brosnan plays a British intelligence agent (sent from MI.6 no less) assigned to Panama's seedy underworld. Geoffrey Rush plays a former criminal and resistance leader who hides out under the guise of a tailor in Panama City. The two of them strike a deal early on, information for money, and before long they're double-crossing each other like old enemies.

There's quite a lot to like in the film. The performances are very good (I wonder if it took Pierce Brosnan one minute or two to get his character down), and Jamie Lee Curtis, costarring with her prominent breasts, has a juicy role as Rush's rightfully suspicious wife. Also, the setting is used to great effect. The outdoor scene were filmed in Panama, and there are a lot of rolling shots of scenery and people, and a lot of local music and noise. It makes you want to visit there. We also get a prolonged shot of Manuel Noriega's face, which is always a special kind of treat.

One downside is that the movie keeps referencing "Casablanca," and keeps reminding us how much better that classic is. Good movies shouldn't reference great ones. The plot is also laid on a little thick, but if you pay attention to the dialogue, it is not hard to follow. A knowledge of the history of Panama is not necessary, but very helpful. I guess the worst part, for me, was that I'd seen it all before. I'd seen Brosnan's character in "The Thomas Crown Affair" and Curtis's character in "True Lies." Rush's character reminded me a great deal of Garak from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," except significantly less intelligent and resourceful. If you haven't seen these movies, the characters may seem fresh to you.

"The Tailor of Panama" comes out on video September 11th, and it's worth a rental, because it's not crap like most other movies this year. But pay attention, and you might want to look up Panama in a current encyclopedia beforehand.


Want to participate? Please create an account a new account or log in.


Other Discussions Started by Scott Hardie

Staked 'n Shaken

What do you think of Steak 'N Shake possibly going out of business? I know there are some Funeratic members here from southern Illinois and the St. Go »

Shaking Down the Family Tree

If you could ask one of your deceased ancestors a question, what would it be? Go »

Go U.S.A.!

'In the eyes of much of the world, this is America: an inconsiderate lone wolf that has really good entertainment but really bad values, that wants war with Iraq just to get oil but still should remain as the only superpower on Earth. Go »

Browser Wars Reignited

It's 2004. 2004! And we're still dealing with issues of browser incompatibility. That was probably my biggest pet peeve when creating web sites back in 1996 and 1997, that some people liked Netscape and some people liked IE, and the elitist attitude among web developers then (and still now) is that you were a clueless dolt if you didn't design for all browsers. Go »

Tech Support

Does anybody have trouble logging in or logging out? (Maybe that's a dumb question, because you can't read this page unless you're logged in. Go »

My Battle with Spam Filters Now Continues

As you may have already seen in the splash image on the home page, email announcements are now working again. Go »