The Tailor of Panama



US 2001
director : John Boorman
script : Boorman, Andrew Davies, John Le Carre (based on Le Carre’s novel)
cinematography : Philippe Rousselot
editing : Ron Davis
stars : Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis
109 minutes

Any fool can make a bad movie, but when a top-class director lays an egg the results can be especially stinky. Boorman’s last release, The General, suggested the old Point Blank / Deliverance magic was still there. So it’s sad to see Panama misfire on every level: direction, script, editing, cinematography, even acting. Brosnan’s limitations are thoroughly exposed – it’s disturbing to see him so gleefully shitting all over the Bond franchise that saved his career. His Andy Osnard is like 007’s obnoxious twin, an arrogant skirt-chaser exiled to Panama where he taps high-society tailor Harry Pendel (Rush) for info. Cash-strapped Harry starts inventing juicy stories to impress his new ‘friend,’ with implausibly disastrous consequences. As usual, Rush is terrific – he’s the only reason to see this otherwise disastrous clunker.

for a longer analysis of The Tailor of Panama, click here

6th April, 2001