Movie Reviews

bellview--i love movies

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

Movie Awards
2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
2006 Roundup
2007 Roundup
2008 Roundup
2009 Roundup


"After the Sunset"

Directed by Brett Ratner.
Written by Craig Rosenberg and Paul Zbyszewski.
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek and Don Cheadle.
Release Year:  2004
Review Date:  12/7/04


From the plot, to the plot, all the way to the plot, "After the Sunset" really blows.  But, here's the thing--Salma Hayek is SO fuckin' hot!

So, what does this mean?  You will watch a very hokie opening number where nifty Irish jewel thief Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) somehow steals--by remote control--a car by getting its VIN number and eludes 20 FBI agents...but, you look at that beautiful face, the make-your-female-cubemate-angry body and the Latin lingo, and you say, "Thank you, Salma, for saving this motion picture."

You watch as a less-than-average fed named Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) tries to catch Max by playing a clumsy Inspector Clouseau type, hamming it up with Max along the way trying to get to know the man...but then you see Salma pull off that shirt to show us those picture-perfect abs and you say "Thank you, Salma, for saving this motion picture."

You watch as Don Cheadle does his best wily bad guy impersonation as an American trafficking in liquor, hookers, casinos and greed, failing all the way even as he tries to be funny...but then, you see Salma in construction gear, putting together a new deck by bending at impossible angles to get the job done and you say "Thank you, Salma, for saving this motion picture."

You will even watch one of the more anti-climactic endings in our recent history together, complete with bad jewel heist cinematics and a completely illogical ending, and you will STILL say "Thank you, Salma, for saving this motion picture."

I'll give this to director Brett Ratner (the "Rush Hour" films and "Red Dragon"):  he knows how to keep you hooked, by giving us just a little Hayek at the right moment.  And, the island where much of the action takes place is absolutely beautiful--it makes me think that I need to move, but, wait a second, I can't do that.  And, Brosnan may have played this role before (most recently in "The Thomas Crown Affair"), but he does a decent job with it and never has to jump tall buildings in a single bound.

But, the fact is really quite simple--when Hayek is onscreen, "After the Sunset" is at points quite a beautiful film.  When she's not around, neither is anything worthwhile.  Hence, a mixed bag!

Rating:  Rental


Comments?  Drop me a line at


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09