I Don’t Want to See Salma Anymore
June 4, 2006

After the Sunset — Pierce Brosnan hasn’t made very many light entertainment movies. Most of his films are darker or heavier than I care for in my escapism. So I thought this one, a sun-soaked caper movie about a retired thief tempted by one more heist, had potential. I was also curious to see what director Brett Ratner had done before X-Men 3.

After the Sunset
After the Sunset
Buy this DVD

Sadly, it doesn’t live up to the possibilities. Salma Hayek is the love interest, and while she has a hot body, often on display, her face doesn’t move much, so not much emotional involvement. Plus, there’s the whole “she looks like his daughter” thing that Hollywood so often ignores. Brosnan appears to be sleepwalking half the time, although he looks darn good for 50, and I admire his apparent lack of fear of showing skin (and providing equal ogling opportunity).

Woody Harrelson is the FBI agent Brosnan and Hayek’s thieves previously made a fool of, come back for revenge. He and Brosnan have a real spark in their scenes, sometimes oddly so. I’m still not sure what purpose some of the interaction had, including one scene where they sleep together, other than providing a LOT of fodder for slash/subtext fans. Given the “twist” ending and rumors of numerous rewrites, I find myself wondering about just what the happy romantic conclusion was originally supposed to be. Overall, I suspect that the cast and crew chose this film mostly to have a paid Bahamas vacation.

Dogma — Yes, they did the Da Vinci Code twist first, complete with protests, and it made more sense in an end-of-the-millennium mood (made in 1999). I have a fondness for this religious satire-turned-action film, because while it’s flawed in many ways, at least it has some ideas and a point of view to express, about the nature, meaning, and need for faith.

And oh, look, it’s Salma again, looking much more animated and strangely, a lot more mature as a former muse who strips, kicks butt, and drives the plot. For fans of older actors with gorgeous accents, there’s Alan Rickman as the weary voice of God… plus a woefully underused Chris Rock and Keven Smith’s stock company. I found myself wondering what Silent Bob and especially Jay were doing here, but then I realized, Jay is the holy fool, blessed for being exactly what he is with no pretension or apology.

5 Responses  
Nat Gertler writes:  

I can’t recommend that you seek out any other Brett Ratner work. Having watched Money Talks and the two Rush Hour movies, I’ve always found it disappointing, never adding up to the sum of its interesting parts, although always with moments that you wish were in a better film. (The few scenes we get with Chris Tucker and Paul Sorvino together in Money Talks show such a wonderful chemistry that I wonder why no one turned around and made a film starring the two of them.)

I got to stand >this

Lea writes:  

I love Dogma so much. It might be because I grew up Catholic.

Nat Gertler writes:  

Whoops, should known better than to use brackets for emphasis. I had written something to the effect of “I got to stand -this- close to Salma while I was working as an extra on Wild Wild West, and she si sweet looking, but more petite than even her screen appearances had caused me to expect. And if you’ve decided that you do Not Want To See Salma Anymore, then that film should be high on the list of movies not to watch. A good cast, a bad, bad film.”

Johanna writes:  

Yeah, I was looking forward to that, because I really like Kevin Kline, but I tried to watch it once… yuck.

Another random thought: I do like that the group that ascends at the end of Dogma is a Latina, a black guy, a Canadian woman, and a British guy, though.

James Schee writes:  

My favorite Salma movie is Fools Rush In, just a really cute movie and role for her and Matthew Perry.

Though I saw more of her than I ever need to again in the movie Frida.

Dogma and Chasing Amy are the only 2 Kevin Smith movies I’ve seen more than once. Is the collector’s edition worth trading up my regular version for?


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