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Fast Charlie

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Sporting a slow Southern drawl and the smooth confidence entering a room with a drawn gun that you'd expect from a retired OO7, Pierce Brosnan owns the screen as FAST CHARLIE.

Nearning the end of his career, Charlie Swift is a fixer for local mob boss and mentor Stan (James Caan in his final role).

He's matched with an overly anxious young killer named Blade for his latest hit. Watching Charlie interact with Blade (a hilarious Brennan Keel Cook) on the kill, he oozes the contempt that every veteran feels watching a rookie screw up.

The dialogue in this opening sequence sets up an Elmore Leonard-like tone, with big laughs, explosive violence and Fil Eisler's superb music score wrapping around you like alligators in a humid swamp.

Blade's attempt to try something different (he's tired of being known just for his knife work) earns him a new nickname and a victim with no apparent head, which makes it awful hard to validate your work.

Charlie leans in on the now dead target's ex wife Marcie Kramer, played by the always intriguing and stunning Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, V) for a possible solution. Brosnan and Baccarin are terrific together as uneasy partners, each intrigued by the other.

We spend some time with Charlie's mentor Stan in what appear to be his final days, with Alzheimers taking hold and a rival New Orleans boss named Beggar (the intense Gbenga Akinnagbe) circling like a buzzard, waiting to grab power.

Stan's entire team is more like a family than a crime ring, inspiring the same loyalty that Charlie feels for Stan. Caan is fine in his last screen role, a frail shadow of the tightly wound actor we remember from "The Godfather". Brosnan and Caan's genuine, quiet moments together are a fitting tribute to Caan's legacy.

At just 90 minutes long, Director Philip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, Dead Calm) delivers a fast paced, tense action piece that provides Brosnan one of his best roles in years.

70 years old, Pierce carries the same suave, undefinable cool that made him the perfect James Bond for years. Facing off against a giant killer or entering a strip club to take out assasins point blank, he's dangerous, laser focused and suave as hell.

FAST CHARLIE is a great escape, dropping you into the South with so much authenticity that you'll find yourself swatting away mosquitos as the bullets richochet around your head. What a blast, earning a surprising and enjoyable A.

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