After the Sunset
Posted on November 11, 2004 at 7:31 pm
This movie features two of the most glorious sights on earth — Paradise Island and Salma Hayak in a bikini. Unfortunately, it keeps putting unappealing characters and a dumb story in front of them.
Pierce Brosnan, in movie star scruffy mode, is Max and Hayak is Lola. They are master thieves with tons of panache and style, specializing in unbreakable alibis and sending champagne and hookers to to the hapless FBI agent who has been chasing them for seven years.
Max and Lola are blissfully retired to a beautiful Caribbean Island. At least Lola is pretty blissful, looking cute in overalls and toolbelt as she expands the deck, writing wedding vows, scuba diving, and inviting boring tourists to share a lobster dinner, though it is not clear whether she is interested in company or in boosting some jewelry.
Max is not adjusting quite as well. He hasn’t managed to write his vows or find a hobby. And then come two arrivals — that FBI agent (Woody Harrelson as Stan Lloyd) and the third Napoleon diamond, the only one Max and Lola haven’t stolen…yet.
Max knows he shouldn’t steal it. But the local crime boss (Don Cheadle) wants him to get it to finance his expansion. Max has never managed to find a hobby. And that unbeatable security system is just sitting there, asking to be beaten.
So far, so good. But the jokes aren’t funny, the romantic encounters are unpersuasive, the pacing sags and drags, and the characters get less appealing as each minute goes by.
In one scene, for no possible logical reason, Max agrees to go out for a day of fishing with Stan. This provides an opportunity for a leaden episode about catching a shark that ends with Stan shooting it because it presents such a danger while it gasps for breath on the deck. The shark’s misery has nothing on ours.
There is also an excruciating scene in which Stan and Max rub sunblock on each other’s backs, which sends them into a homosexual panic, setting up an ugly situation later on when they end up in bed together (on the flimsiest of premises) and Stan’s FBI colleagues draw the “wrong” conclusion.
It’s supposed to be funny that the crime boss talks about his work in humanitarian terms, “providing diversion for the underprivileged” with hookers and drugs as he pursues a vision of free love inspired by the songs of the Mamas and Papas. Nope. And it is supposed to be charming that Lola and the local law enforcement officer (Naomie Harris of
Parents should know that the movie has some strong sexual references and situations for a PG-13. Characters drink, smoke, and use strong language. A character is a drug dealer. There is fighting and gunplay. Characters are shot and one is killed. The main characters are jewel thieves and the story includes lying and betrayal. The movie is oddly homophobic, with humor built on misinterpreted situations. A strength of the movie is positive portrayals of female and minority characters and inter-racial relationships.
Families who see this movie should talk about why Lola and Max had different attitudes toward retirement. Are you or aren’t you the kind of person who enjoys watching a sunset? Why?
Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy some of the classic heist films, including