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.
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.
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