Review: ‘Fast Charlie’

Pierce Brosnan Is Charming As Hell As A Seasoned Hitman Out For Revenge

We’ve seen the “one last job” movies featuring the “I’m too old for this shit” protagonist before, however in director Phillip Noyce’s latest comedy/thriller Fast Charlie, the genre gets spun on its head to be an entertaining film about a hitman trying to settle some scores after his world caves in around him.

Charlie (Pierce Brosnan) calls himself a “fixer” or a “problem solver,” but in actuality, he’s a mob boss Stan Mullen’s (James Caan) personal hitman. Charlie is 100% Zen and in control of things, unlike one guy he goes on a job with who’s pretty much a tweaker (whose name is “Blade”) in search of some cash. Initially, in Fast Charlie, we get to see him sorta in action as he takes care of a rival on behalf of Stan. Unfortunately, through circumstances beyond his control, his target’s head gets blown off (lesson learned: don’t partner with a crazy person) and he has to bring his target’s ex-wife Marcie (Morena Baccarin) to confirm the body so that he can confirm his job is completed (she reluctantly helps).

At the same time, there’s a new player in the underworld. Beggar (Gbenga Akinnagbe), who recently graduated from local corner boy to kingpin recently wants to have a sit-down with Stan to discuss “business.” Charlie agrees to pass the message on to Stan at a local birthday party his old crew celebrates Stan’s birthday. Stan isn’t too eager for a sit-down that will be explained later in Fast Charlie, so the next day (even before Beggar gets his answer), Stan and his entire crew are taken out by Beggar’s crew.

Except they didn’t count on Charlie. Getting the drop on his would-be assassins (he even comically comments that he saw them on his Amazon Ring camera before killing them), Charlie proceeds to try and check in on his crew, but it’s too late as he’s now on an island all to himself. Even people he used to work with are basically telling him to get out of town as they are all now on #teambeggar. However, Charlie is a principled man, and no one’s gonna kill his friends/family and get away with it. Charlie proceeds to be a one-man wrecking crew as he tears Mississippi and New Orleans a new one trying to get to Beggar. Beggar is also after something that Stan had in his personal effects (that are also connected to Charlie’s initial hit at the beginning of Fast Charlie). This causes Charlie to link up with the ex-wife of the man he murdered to try and figure out what’s got Beggar so worried, and also, he has to stay alive AND get revenge against Beggar in the process.

Fast Charlie is surprisingly fun and well done. This is mostly in part to Pierce Brosnan just having a great time as a seasoned hitman who is no slouch when it comes to taking care of business. Liam Neeson could learn a thing or two from him. He and Morena Baccarin’s chemistry is great as the two first start off quite standoffish, but needing to lean on each other to survive, the two build a rapport that eventually goes from reluctant partners, to friends, to probably something a lot more. The relationship is believable as well as it gets the space to organically grow throughout Fast Charlie’s 90-minute runtime. Another surprise (but shouldn’t be a big surprise) is James Caan as Stan as he’s playing an elderly mob boss who is dealing with Alzheimer’s and memory loss and Caan’s performance is very believable.

Fast Charlie works best when it’s about Charlie getting revenge on Beggar and his men. The film falls a little flat when it attempts to unravel the information Beggar is after. Once the big reveal is made, you kinda understand, but it doesn’t feel like it needed to be a plot point in the film. In addition, when the big reveal finally comes, it doesn’t feel earned because the impetus of Fast Charlie is about revenge, not what it eventually was revealed to be. Also, Brosnan’s Southern accent doesn’t work that well. He would have been fine with a regular American accent in the film and it wouldn’t have taken 40 minutes to get used to. In addition, the ending felt a little rushed and the film could have probably used 10-15 more minutes of either continuing the character dynamics between Charlie and Marcie, or just having Charlie doing more awesome kills.

That said, Fast Charlie is still a fun ride. You never get bored or tired with these characters as they are genuinely interesting, especially Brosnan as Charlie as well as David Chattam as local bouncer Milt, who ends up being a great asset for Charlie. Brosnan oozes charisma in every scene in the movie and Morena Baccarin continues to remind you why fans still want a Firefly sequel/reboot after all these years. Overall, this movie is a fun ride and will gain a cult following once it’s released on a streamer. Until then, it’s completely worth your rental fee!

Fast Charlie is currently available in select theaters and On Demand.