Mr. Nice

Rated 3.0

This is the true-ish, coyly self-aggrandized tale of international drug smuggler Howard Marks, a globe-trotting cannabis maven whose memoir writer-director Bernard Rose converts into picaresque biopic. Consummate charmer Rhys Ifans holds court as the titular code-named entrepreneur, a sweet and rascally Oxford-educated Welshman who apparently just wanted better career prospects than academia had to offer him. His gallant, unrepentant life of crime includes dealings with operatives from MI6 (Christian McKay), the IRA (David Thewlis) and spaced-out sunny CIA (Crispin Glover), not to mention the obligatory put-upon wife (Chloë Sevigny). Rose doesn’t much examine but does like what he sees; having also served as his own cinematographer and co-editor, he’s compiled a fond if formless array of doting imagery. In the end, aside from its general spirit of revelry and a vacuous plea for pot legalization, this is a movie without much reason for being. But who wants to harsh its buzz?