In this case, familiarity will not necessarily breed contempt so much as pleasure, and a lot of that has to do with, yup, casting. Pierce Brosnan plays the Biloxi-based mob operative Charlie Swift, and he puts on a Southern accent broader than the Mississippi River at its widest, and he makes you love it. At the movie’s opening, he’s in a junkyard, being ordered to strip, and he relates in voiceover:” I always thought my life would end like this, in some godforsaken place, from a bullet I didn’t see coming. But I never thought I’d care.” What follows tells us why he came to care.
It came thusly: Taking out a guy named Rollo, at the behest of a couple of his bosses, Sol and Stan, who are trying to help out a young up-and-comer named Beggar. On this job Charlie’s working with a youngster himself, nicknamed “Blade” on account of his favored tool, although a turn of events has Charlie re-nicknaming the kid “Donut,” which he doesn’t like. The results of the hit compel Charlie to visit Rollo’s ex, a fetching taxidermist named Marcie; her portrayer is the slyly winning Morena Baccarin.
Charlie’s crew is pretty down-home as criminals go. As a matter of fact, Charlie’s immediate boss, Stan, suffers from Alzheimer’s, and Charlie devotedly looks after him. Stan is played by James Caan in his last film role, and he’s poignant and charming. New trouble begins brewing when the ambitious Beggar requests a meet with Stan, and on being turned down, stages a bloody criminal coup.
I’ve not read the book upon which this movie is based but judging from the dialogue, it’s in the Elmore-Leonard/Carl Hiassen mode of dryly funny mayhem. At one point in the movie, Brosnan’s character gifts Baccarin’s with a dead fox to stuff. She asks its name. “Rocky,” he responds.