Only Fools Rush in for ‘Fast Charlie'
A movie so bad, it has a decent Rotten Tomatoes score.
Pierce Brosnan’s charm can make almost any movie enjoyable. Almost. I remember the trailer for the family drama The Greatest, and how, during a particularly emotional moment on a beach, he delivers some heavy feeling with expressions one could just die for. Of course, his James Bond flicks were top-tier charismatic too, even the poorly considered Die Another Day. Indeed, the man is a star, and stars shine bright amid pure darkness.
What of a black hole?
Fast Charlie, a Gulf South revenge thriller, features Brosnan as a wise hitman with a difficult-to-decipher accent that comes off as a Saturday Night Live impersonation of Hugh Hefner. It’s funny to hear him say gang member names like Beggar, which sounds like “Be-gah!” in his interpretation. His character, Charlie Swift (the fast one of the movie’s title), is one of three in the film that comes off as normal and competent, the two others are played by a female taxidermist (Morena Baccarin) and his aging boss (James Chan). Everyone else, some youngsters, is weird or entirely stupid and baffling.
The opening features one such dummy shooting himself in the face by accident, and crashing his car into an electric pole. Brosnan looks on and shrugs with a sigh. Fast Charlie is made up entirely of shrugs and sighs, and is a pathetic genre attempt set in the humid Deep South. Directed by Clear and Present Danger’s Phillip Noyce, I suspect some anxious post-production cutting that may have ruined an otherwise simple tale of contract killers and humorously dark and sticky situations. Outweighing the sometimes fun scraps and scrapes of Charlie’s adventure is lots of dialogue about taxidermy and confusingly boring anti-twists in the story that turns dull into bad.
It’s just bad. So…why does it have a Rotten Tomatoes score of 88% (at the time of this writing)? Brosnan being there, perhaps. One fine chase scene in a hotel, maybe. Grace for James Caan’s final performance could be. I don’t know why others like Fast Charlie, but I do know why I don’t. And, frankly, that’s all I can offer.
This movie is a black hole for good talent, sucking out most of the interesting from what should’ve been a decent outing of a fun thriller. Instead, I couldn’t help but chuckle throughout to numb the ache in my heart. For that reason alone, I suppose I had an ok time with Fast Charlie. Wham, bam, thank you, Pierce.
Such a shame, and such a waste of New Orleans-area effort. One of Charlie’s hideouts is a building that “nobody knows about” in the famous French Quarter. Inside was a very nice loft that shocked me big time, as it was NOT an Airbnb. That would’ve been useful for someone. Bad for the city, but at least it’s nice to look at and be around. 1.5/5
Fast Charlie is now available for purchase and rental on demand.