Some films begin with a grander idea than one they can actually execute. For a film, it’s good to have a grand concept, no doubt, but it’s better when the film knows that it doesn’t and begins from an honest space. Fast Charlie, the 2023 Pierce Brosnan film, never tries to become ‘bigger,’ a ‘spectacle,’ and therein lies its strength. With some clever writing from Richard Wenk and Victor Gischler, Fast Charlie benefits from Brosnan’s on-screen persona and Morena Baccarin’s turn as a high-IQ taxidermist who just knows how to calmly deal with the criminal world if ever it comes too close to destroying her own. There is James ‘Jimmy’ Caan in a short but emotionally powerful role as well, and he plays his bit well in the penultimate film of his career. Through some engaging twists and turns, the film becomes a refreshing action thriller that knows when to keep it light and when to hammer the point home.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Our concierge, or ‘fixer’ as Baccarin’s character Marcie would label him, Charlie, was a little past his prime, but he could still do any job for his father-figure Stan. Stan’s whole gang was full of oddballs who wouldn’t hesitate to decorate you with bullet holes. There were Benny and his wife, Celine, Pauly, and Tony D in Stan’s gang, apart from Charlie. Charlie’s new assignment was to kill a man named Rollo, but Stan had promised a friend he would induct a kid named Donut by giving him the opportunity to take out Rollo. He did too good a job by blowing Rollo’s head off, making it hard to identify the body. The next surprise Donut gave to Charlie was to try to steal Rollo’s body and give it to Beggar, the money maker for mafia boss Sal. Charlie, the ‘fixer’ had to prove that he was worth his label when he had to get Rollo’s ex-wife Marcie out of the mess he had gotten her in.
How Did Charlie Convince Beggar That He Had Killed Rollo?
After the head-explosion incident, thanks to Donut’s bomb fitted to an edible donut, Charlie had to figure out a way to get someone who could identify his body so that he could note down an identifying marker and tell Stan about it. That was the reason he had visited Marcie. But when Donut tried to betray Charlie by taking the body to Beggar all alone, Charlie’s equation with Marcie became a little close-knit. How? Well, Donut, the dumb killer, shot himself in the face, driving Charlie’s car into an electric pole. Rollo’s body in the trunk was badly burned, but the fixer had to do something. Marcie helped him out by telling him about his brother, who was a tattoo artist and did a tattoo at a special place on their bodies for their anniversary. Beggar and Rollo had been in jail together, and you know how it is in jail with inmates taking a shower. He wanted Rollo dead because he had something big on him that could destroy his career in crime or perhaps get him killed. Charlie decided to give Donut’s headless body to Beggar after getting him inked in the special place with the help of Marcie’s brother. Beggar just checked the tattoo, and as the body’s build matched that of Rollo’s, he was satisfied that Charlie had done the job.
Why Couldn’t Charlie Kill Beggar?
After his meeting with Beggar, Charlie was attacked by hitmen, and he knew immediately that Stan’s entire crew was in trouble. Indeed, it was. The Beggar had grown a little too ambitious and wanted to take Stan out. To avoid repercussions, he had decided to attack each and every member who hadn’t already switched parties. Everybody was killed, except Benny and Celine, as they had joined hands with Beggar, knowing that there was no future with Stan, who was going to die soon because of his dementia. Charlie vowed to vanquish Beggar and his men, but first he found it obligatory to inform Sal about it. But Sal wasn’t in the mood to give him permission to attack Beggar. Beggar was bringing in the profits, and it was deemed all right that he would take over the dance bars and casinos that Stan’s gang had handled over the years. Charlie wasn’t given a green light, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t kill Beggar’s crew. Ultimately, Charlie discovered he could terrorize Beggar in a much more effective way—by trying to procure whatever Rollo had on Beggar faster than his hitmen.
How Did Charlie Save Stan?
Beggar had sent his man to search Rollo’s place, but Charlie was right behind. Seeing Beggar’s impatience with Rollo’s killing, Charlie knew that Rollo had something massive on him that Rollo wanted destroyed. But he didn’t know where to find it. Beggar had ordered his man to deal with Rollo’s ex-wife Marcie as well, if the ‘stuff’ wasn’t found in Rollo’s house. Charlie killed the guy and later tracked down the hotel Rollo had been staying at, only to find a disc player in his room. That’s how he got to know that perhaps the information Beggar was after was stored in a disc that Rollo had stashed somewhere before he got his head blown off.
Marcie helped him as much as she could. Rollo had promised her 50 grand that she wanted as much as Charlie wanted that disc. Through the phone bill found at the hotel, they found Rollo’s call history and contacted his mother. There was no disc to be found there, and Marcie’s 50 grand had been used up by his mother to get an augmentation mammoplasty. Charlie was yet to find the disc, and Beggar’s best hitman, Mercury, was out to get him. In between all the running around, Charlie and Marcie had come to understand each other a lot better since they had first met. Both of them wanted to get away, but they had made some bad choices in life which they were trying to come to terms with. Marcie had made the bad choice of marrying Rollo, who always managed to get them into trouble, and Charlie was neck-deep in the world of crime. He was simply doing this last job for Stan, even though Marcie couldn’t understand why he was trying to avenge somebody when he himself wanted to get out of the whole mob business. There was no time to answer all the questions. The first thing was to procure the disc, and Marcie had a clue where Rollo could have hidden it. He had once told her that ‘it was hidden right under their nose’ and it could mean only one thing, according to her. She went to one of Beggar’s bars, found the disc, and gave it to Charlie, but unfortunately Mercury got to him. Thanks to Charlie’s knack for getting out of threatening situations, he killed Mercury and went to save Marcie, who had been kidnapped by Beggar, as a last resort to get Charlie on his knees. Beggar was killed by Milt, the sniper who had saved Charlie on a lot of prior occasions. But what about Sal? He hadn’t given Charlie the green light to kill Beggar. Well, Charlie had shown Sal the disc, which basically contained interviews where Beggar could be seen ratting out Sal’s businesses to the FBI in prison. Charlie had Sal’s permission all along.
During Fast Charlie‘s ending, Marcie and Charlie were shown to go to Italy, where Marcie had planned to work as a taxidermist and Charlie had his own plans, perhaps to start a restaurant. But the biggest revelation was that Stan was alive. Charlie had seen him lying unconscious on the ground, and it seemed like he had managed to kill his chauffeur, Pauly, who was given the task of killing him. What Charlie had done was to take Pauly’s body and get a death certificate made in Stan’s name with the help of a friend. Then he put him at a nice resort for the elderly. With that, Charlie felt free to spend the rest of his life with Marcie, who had given up on the future she had hoped for and finally embraced a new one with Charlie.