Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Tailor Of Panama (2001) Film Review
The Tailor Of Panama
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
A movie with this kind of pedigree should not be a mess. And yet it is. Horribly so.
Based on a John Le Carre novel, it borrows Graham Greene's idea from Our Man In Havana. John Boorman, still riding high on the reputation of his early work in America (Point Blank, Deliverance), directs like a tourist without a map.
Pierce Brosnan is a MI6 agent not called James, which is odd casting considering the strength of the Bond brand and how it markets a style to the point of parody.
The tailor in question is Harry Pendel, played by Geoffrey (Shine) Rush, with his usual foppish exaggeration. Late of Savile Row, he has been making suits for the great and the bad in Panama for years.
Andy Osnard (Brosnan) is sent there to investigate rumours that the post-Noriega government has plans to sell the canal to a foreign power. Unlike the Teflon coated 007, Osnard only assumes the guise of a suave international spy for the purpose of seducing emotionally repressed ice queens and impressing gossip-mongers like Pendel to work for him. In fact, he's an unscrupulous operator, who only thinks of Number One.
The state of Pendel's marriage, the interjections of dead Uncle Benny (Harold Pinter), the reinvention of an alcoholic freedom fighter (Brendan Gleeson) as the half credible leader of a secret opposition, the idiocy of a gullible M figure (David Hayman) and the stereotypical ass of a British ambassador (John Fortune) contribute to this convoluted muddle.
Is it a farce, or a thriller? Is Brosnan being clever, playing a man pretending to be James Bond, and why waste the wonderful Catherine McCormack as bedroom fodder? Is the tailor an agent, a double agent, an innocent or a fantasist?
Frankly, my dear...Reviewed on: 19 Apr 2001
If you like this, try:Our Man In Havana