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The Tailor of Panama

Lies, lies, lies - yeah. They gonna getcha.

When The Thompson Twins sang these immortal lyrics, they tapped into one of the world's oldest truths. And now, some seventeen years later, their words have been brought to life in the new Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis thriller, The Tailor of Panama.

Pierce, in a leap against type, plays a British Secret Service Agent. Geoffrey, in a leap against type, plays a befuddled prodigy (a prodigy tailor, as opposed to a pianist) caught in Pierce's web of deception. Jamie, in a leap against type, plays a woman.

Pierce, disgraced by the public disclosure of his fornications with various important diplomats' wives, is sentenced to Panama. There, he meets Geoffrey, the Tailor of the title in discussion. Geoffrey is down on his Luck and owes money, and good old chap Pierce offers to help Geoffrey if Geoffrey will spy on his clients and bring important information back to Pierce. Problem is, there's no important information to be had. So Geoffrey begins to make it up.

Hilarity ensues.

Now I've told some whoppers in my time, from "I used to be a regular on The Facts of Life" to "Yes, my name really is Sharona, and this really is my driver's license" to "It's because it's so cold in here."

But none of my lies have ever created an international incident. And I Think this proves one thing: My lies aren't good enough. I'm going to have to work on my lies, sharpen them, strengthen them, improve them, because until I am able to say, in all sincerity, that one of my tall tales caused the Euro to drop in value by half, I won't have lived.

So starting here and now, I have a few new "truths" that I need to let everyone know.

  1. I am a descendant of Thomas Jefferson through his undocumented relationship with a blind woman named Madge.
  2. The Mars Climate Orbiter and Polar Lander did not malfunction. They worked perfectly, and are currently being used as relay stations on Mars for communications between the American government and the people of Mars.
  3. George Bush didn't win Florida. Ralph Nader did. And I can prove it.

It is my hope that these three lies will build momentum and steamroll into international incidents which change the shape of the globe. Only then will I be happy.

Meanwhile, back to the movie.

It's not bad. Not 'break down the walls, this baby is cinematic perfection!' but not bad. It's an awful lot of fun to watch Pierce Brosnan play the anti-Bond, holding top-secret meetings in a cheap motel while watching porn and showing fewer morals than a pack of college freshmen at a frat party. The movie is tight and takes some delicious twists and turns, although I spent the entire movie expecting a couple more twists that never reared their ugly head. If you go see this movie, you may well enjoy yourself.

The main problem with the flick is it's difficult to explain what you can expect. This is a thriller, and yet, not quite. It's not really a comedy, but then, it kinda is. There's no romance involved, but then again, maybe there is, sort of. It's a spy flick, kinda, but not really.

Basically, it's a movie all about tailoring. In Panama. There. Now figure out if you want to see it.

I'm giving The Tailor of Panama 3 1/3 Babylons. Do you think I'm telling The truth? If not, then feel free to decide for yourself what I gave it. In the end, who'll know the difference?

Editor's Note:

Let's hold the SMC accountable for his reviews! If you go to this movie and discover that the SMC is lying about it being worth 3 1/3 Babylons, I will make sure that he sends you $9.

The Tailor Of Panama
Rated: R
Directed By: John Boorman
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis, Leonor Varela, Harold Pinter, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, George Burns, Charlie Chaplin and Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials.

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