Going in to see this, I was fully aware of the generally negative reviews it had been receiving, so, my expectations were relatively low. This turned out to be a good thing, as I watched the ridiculously implausible plot machinations grinding away on the screen I still found myself having a good time. There is no denying that this is not a terribly good movie, but it is a fun diversion.
The action starts with a complex robbery of a diamond, which Agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) is transporting. The pair behind the heist are Max and Lola (Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek). Fast forward and now our thieving couple are retired and living in luxury on a tropical island. One day Stan shows up, wanting to keep an eye on Max while a large diamond is being shown on a nearby cruise ship. What ensues is a game of cat and mouse between Stan, Max and Lola, and Sophie (Naomie Harris). Sophie is a local police officer who is helping Stan.
The result is not an in depth heist or con, but a series of exotic locations and an exercise hanging it’s credibility on the ability of the actors to pull it off convincingly. They do a decent enough job at making it fun. Salma Hayek is the lynchpin here, she looks absolutely stunning in the variety of outfits they find to put her in, plus her character is the most balanced of the bunch. Pierce plays a variation on the James Bond role, well dressed smooth talker, good with gadgets, the difference being this guy uses his powers for crime. Another thing is, unlike Bond, Max’s issues are closer to the surface and ready for the picking here. Next is Woody Harrelson, he injects the majority of the humor here, getting into one ridiculous setup after another. Naomie Harris, as Sophie, doesn’t have a lot to do here other than be the eye candy sidekick, but she plays the role well. The final performance to make note of is Don Cheadle as a local gangster, he always gives good performances, and this supporting role is no different.
The cinematography is spectacular, the sandy beaches, the exotic locations, they all look great the screen. It is almost as if they are there to serve as a distraction to the story being told. Brett Ratner is a decent director, but he is still searching for that one film to put him over the top. I thought that was going to be Red Dragon, but it was not to be. After climbing to notoriety with the Rush Hour films, he has been struggling. There was nothing here to really hang an excellent tag on.
While watching this one, I couldn’t help but have memories of Entrapment. This one seems to follow a similar formula, take an attractive older actor, add a gorgeous female co-star and put them in situations of some peril, but allow the female star to be in provocative outfits, and have them steal something. In the older film the pair was Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It may be a thin connection, but it kept crossing my mind.
Bottomline. I admit it, I had fun watching this movie, it was utterly preposterous, but still fun. Harrelson’s FBI agent wouldn’t have a real job, the gadgets Brosnan uses extend past even film logic, and Hayek’s outfits just throw logic out the window. With that in mind, it is possible to have fun.
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