Pierce Brosnan Weekend – After the Sunset (2004)

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Paul Zbyszewski, Craig Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomie Harris, Chris Penn, Troy Garity

Plot: The story of what happens after a master thief achieves his last big score, when the F.B.I. Agent who promised he’d capture him, is about to do just that.


Tagline – Who will walk away?

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Crime Heist

Story: After the Sunset starts as master thief Max (Brosnan) and his partner Lola (Hayek) get one over FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Harrelson) once again, stealing the diamonds he is transporting despite Stan’s fear of Max coming for them, escaping to tropical island, Max and Lola find themselves getting bored in retirement.

Stan heads down to the tropical island to watch over Max and Lola believing they will be trying to pull off another job, with a new potential diamond for Max to steal, Stan teams up with local cop Sophie (Harris) to try and catch him in the act. The island gang leader Henri Moore (Cheadle) wants the diamond and is pushing Max into doing the job, will he come out of retirement.

Thoughts on After the Sunset

Characters – Max Burdett is a famous diamond thief, he has managed to get away with the most difficult jobs and has always managed to find a way to have an alibi for when the robberies have taken place, he has retired with his partner until a new temptation and gang leader pushes him into one more job, while he uses his charm to stay one step ahead of the FBI agent tracking him. Lola is the partner of Max, she is used for distraction using her beauty to turn head, but she is keeping herself busy in the retirement life in which she is getting bored of. Stan is an FBI agent that has always found himself losing Max, he decides to follow him to the tropical island believing he is going after another job, hoping that he can catch him in the act this time around. The two men have a rival friendship which sees them needing to word their conversations correctly and even help each other with their relationship issues. Henri Moore is the island gangster, he has been turning the island into what he wants and wants Max to help him steal the diamond. Sophie is the local cop that doesn’t take anything from anyone and is the only one that is willing to tackle the gangster problem through the film. She works with Stan on the tracking of Max.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan is wonderful to watch as a confident thief, he is great in these styles of role and it shows here. Salma Hayek is always going to great to watch and this role shows her at her best, with Woody Harrelson also shining through this film, he knows how to hit the comedy needing for his role despite him having a serious side to him. Don Cheadle doesn’t really get that much screen time, while Naomie Harris shows us a strong performance through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a thief living in paradise after retirement, only to find himself followed by his nemesis FBI Agent and pushed into a new job by the island’s gangster. This is a story that plays out like the crime heist story, by having the five main parts each trying to stay ahead of each other, with plenty of twists and turns along the way as they each believe they have the upper hand. This does have the slick style needed in the story and does show that both men will find themselves getting into trouble with their personal lives, with the unlikely friendship being there to help each other out.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from how Max and Stan keep their friendship with them getting into funny situations, all while keeping the criminal line between the two of them.

SettingsThe film is set on a tropical island which does give us the beautiful backdrop and shows this could be a place for thieves to retire in.


Scene of the Movie – Fishing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Could have more from Cheadle’s character.

Final Thoughts This is a fun heist movie with enjoyable characters and a slick style when it comes to deal with the relationship between thief and authority.

Overall: Enjoyable heist film.

Rush Hour 3 (2007)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ross LaManna (Characters)

Starring: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Max von Sydow, Hiroyuki Sanada

 

Plot: After an attempted assassination on Ambassador Han, Lee and Carter head to Paris to protect a French woman with knowledge of the Triads’ secret leaders.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Decline Starts

 

Story: Rush Hour 3 starts with Carter (Tucker) back on traffic duty, while Lee (Chan) is now head of security for Ambassador Han (Ma). After the Ambassador is shot it becomes clear that the Triads are trying to keep their secret safe once and for all. Lee chases down the shooter Kenji (Sanada) who has a connection to his past. Lee and Carter promise to track down the people responsible for the shooting and have to team up after the altercation following a holiday away together.

Lee and Carter find out they have been marked for death and fly to Paris to find answers for who is after them. After arriving in Paris they try to figure out what is going on and the revelation that Kenji is actually Lee’s brother and the fight is on a new level of personal for Lee.

Rush Hour 3 follows very similar ideas from the first two with Carter always talking himself into trouble and Lee having to do most of the fighting to get them out. We have the personal side to the story on Lee’s side and Carter trying to make light of it again. We have the clearly simple location choice to let us know that we are in a certain country and the villain twist that has happened every film so far. If you don’t mind having much of the same this is a tried and tested formula but I would have liked to have seen something different potential on Carter’s side for once. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Chan: Lee getting his promotion to head of security for Ambassador Han, he must go in search of his brother after he tries to kill Han. Jackie does what we expect from him and does so well. (7/10)

 chan

Chris Tucker: Carter demoted to traffic cop he joins forces with his old partner to take down the criminals taking part of the Triads. Chris falls back into the annoying category after losing it the last one and this is the worst of the lot. (5/10)

tucker

Max von Sydow: Reynard leader of the world criminal court who tries to push our heroes into locating the Triad leaders. Max gives a standard performance in a role with twists. (5/10)

 

Hiroyuki Sanada: Kenji Lee’s brother who is part of the Triads who have marked our heroes for death. Hiroyuki does make a good villain as he does poses  good mysterious side to him. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Rush Hour 3 has a supporting cast that is very similar to all of the ones we have seen before but this time we have a few more laughs from them.

 

Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a solid job a making the final part of a trilogy but doesn’t live up to the first two. (5/10)

 

Action: Rush Hour 3 has more over the top action scenes which takes away and real side to the story. (6/10)

Comedy: Rush Hour 3 has comedy mainly the same jokes, but the supporting characters do get a few laughs. (7/10)

Thriller: Rush Hour 3 loses all the thrills this time around. (3/10)

Chemistry: Rush Hour 3 doesn’t seem to have as such smooth chemistry as the previous two. (6/10)

Settings: Rush Hour 3 uses Paris as its primary setting this time around which is bringing in the French jokes. (7/10)

Suggestion: Rush Hour 3 is one for the fans of the franchise, if you haven’t seen the rest you will not be a fan of this. (Franchise Fans)

 

Best Part: Opening chase.

Worst Part: Same old story.

Funniest Scene: Waiting for the master.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is talk of a fourth but nothing confirmed as of yet.

Post Credits Scene: Credits with bloopers.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $258 Million

Budget: $140 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: They’re rushing through the hours quick

Trivia: Brett Ratner tried getting Tony Jaa to do the film, who turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with Ong-bak 2 (2008).

 

Overall: All Good Things Come to an End

Rating 55

Rush Hour 2 (2001)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ross LaManna (Characters)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, John Lone, Ziyi Zhang, Roselyn Sanchez

 

Plot: Carter and Lee head to Hong Kong for vacation, but become embroiled in a counterfeit money scam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Sequel

 

Story: Rush Hour 2 starts by having a mysterious lady deliver a parcel to an US Embassy in Hong Kong leading to an explosion. Lee (Chan) & Carter (Tucker) are on vacation in Hong Kong this time and end up getting involved in the case. Turning the first film on his head Lee takes Carter around his city treating him like a tourist while trying to solve the case of the bombing believed to be committed by Ricky Tan (Lone). The two investigate at Ricky Tan’s club leading them to get caught up in a chase with his Hench lady Hu Li (Zhang) leading to the two to get fully involved in the case.

When the case turns out to be larger than first thought Lee is asked to back away and leave Ricky Tan out there as bait. After an explosion at the police station Lee believes that Carter was killed he goes after Tan on his own, while Carter exploring Hong Kong is completely oblivious of what is going on ends up following Tan to the same location as Lee. The two find out they are investigating the same thing and that not everything is what it seems in the Triads leading to the couple heading back to Los Angeles for the answers.

Rush Hour 2 I believe picks up right where the last one finished with the unlikely couple on the vacation. The added personal storyline for Lee’s character does help make this one feel a lot more intense, it also has a couple more twists that make sense and works towards uses a more mainstream known crime gang. On the down side we do get the same sort of incidents that leave our character getting into fights against large numbers of opponents. It feels a lot more well-rounded this, in a way that the first one worked well and they knew what worked and built on it more. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Chan: Lee Hong Kong based detective whose past rivalry with the man who killed his father will lead to the true identity of the criminal mastermind, he also has to deal with Carter getting him in trouble with his mouth. Jackie does a good job mixing his action and comedy here again. (8/10)

 chan

Chris Tucker: Carter who is on vacation with Lee in Hong Kong but ends up getting caught up in the middle of the investigation and constantly putting his foot in it. Chris does seem to dial down the annoying level this time but his mouth never stops working. (7/10)

tucker

John Lone: Ricky Tan leader of the Triads and man responsible for Lee’s father’s death. He is suspect number one after the bombing but it becomes clear he isn’t involved as much as we thought. John makes for a solid villain and his personal touch adds to the story. (6/10)

 

Ziyi Zhang: Hu Li the main lady hench person whose martial arts skills get the upper hand on Carter, she is young ambitious and most importantly deadly. Ziyi makes for a good supporting villain and her battles with Carter make extra comedy. (7/10)

 hu li

 

Support Cast: Rush Hour 2 has a good supporting cast including an undercover agent who works with our heroes and plenty of henchmen for Lee to fight with.

 

Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a good job directing this improve on what we saw first time out. (8/10)

 

Action: Rush Hour 2 has plenty of action scenes with Lee getting into plenty of fights. (8/10)

Comedy: Rush Hour 2 uses the comedy very well starting with the rolls reversed at the start before Tucker pulling on the one man joke act during the second half against Chan’s much more serious side. (8/10)

Thriller: Rush Hour 2 uses a much more personal story for Lee giving us a much higher level of thrills than first time out. (7/10)

Chemistry: Rush Hour 2 Chan and Tucker show off their chemistry again here to good levels. (8/10)

Settings: Rush Hour 2 uses Hong Kong, LA and Las Vegas for its settings letting us know how iconic the location for the action really is. (9/10)

Suggestion: Rush Hour 2 is one to watch if you like the first one, I personally would recommend it but I do understand people not liking it. (If You Like The First Watch)

 

Best Part: Massage room fight.

Worst Part: Same jokes.

Action Scene Of The Film: Casino break in.

Funniest Scene: Massage Room fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 1 More sequel

Post Credits Scene: Bloopers in the credits.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $347 Million

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: Get Ready For A Second Rush!

Trivia: Ziyi Zhang could not speak English, so she had to take direction via the combination of an interpreter (often Jackie Chan himself) and Brett Ratner essentially performing “charades”. Her character only says three English words in the movie: “Some apple?” and, later, “Out!” In an interview, Roselyn Sanchez said that Ziyi Zhang tried learning English from her, but tried to discourage her as she would have ended up speaking it with a Puerto Rican accent.

 

Overall: Fun Filled Buddy Cop Film

Rating 78

Rush Hour (1998)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Jim Kouf, Ross LaManna (Screenplay) Ross LaManna (Story)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Tzi Ma, Chris Penn, Ken Leung, Rex Linn, Elizabeth Pena, Philip Baker Hall, John Hawkes

 

Plot: Two cops team up to get back a kidnapped daughter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Entertainment

 

Story: Rush Hour starts by showing Officer Lee (Chan) closing a big case for his boss Consul Han (Ma) who is leaving the city in the hands of Griffin (Wilkinson). Moving to Los Angeles we meet Carter (Tucker) an undercover officer who shows he is all talk but capable of completing the job. Consul Han starting his new job in Los Angeles when his daughter is kidnapped, with the FBI involved Han wants his own man involved. This brings Lee over but when the FBI want to leave him out the picture they call the LAPD leading to Carter being put on the assignment as a punishment.

Carter talks too much believing that Lee doesn’t speak any English leading to the comedy tension between the two starting early. Carter and Lee being pushed off the case decide to look into the case on their own free will. They couple find themselves in the middle of the battle after Lee loses Carter. When it becomes apparent that Lee is going to be up against an old enemy Sang (Leung) it becomes clear that the kidnapping is personal.

Carter and Lee have to put aside their differences and go against the orders of the FBI to save the girl from the infamous yet elusive Juntao.

Rush Hour is a style of film that put together correctly works to high levels, Rush Hour reaches those levels with the brilliant pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. The story is simple to follow and relies on the twos action to keep us entertained. It will go down as one of the last great buddy cop films because certain parts wouldn’t be accepted in the cinema nowadays. We get to see Tucker’s wise cracking joking spitting character mix with Chan’s all action character to give us a great blend of comedy and action that really keeps us fully entertained. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Chan: Lee brilliant detective from China who gets bought to America to help find the kidnapped daughter, but once there he gets treated like a tourist. He ends up teaming up with the unlikely Carter to make for a great team when it comes to solving the kidnapping. Jackie is always going to give us great action scenes but moving his style into comedy worked perfectly here. (8/10)

 chan

Chris Tucker: Carter loud talking streetwise detective who’s against the books techniques lands him on babysitting duties with Lee. Carter’s connections do end up helping solve the kidnapping. Chris does a good job to create a character that you actually hate but love at the same time because when it comes down to business he always comes through. (8/10)

tucker

Tom Wilkinson: Griffin/Juntao we do see Griffin as a friend of the Consul but we do also see that he is the infamous Juntao who is the evil businessman. Tom gives a solid performance as the typical generic evil business man. (6/10)

 

Ken Leung: Sang the main henchman for Juntao, he ends up going up against Lee on multiple occasions always seeming escaping the duel. Ken does a good job but we are waiting for a battle between him and Lee which never happens. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Rush Hour has a supporting cast that includes the FBI who are the typical stupid characters. The Consul and his family who play the victims well. We also have the typical henchman there to give Jackie Chan a chance to kick ass.

 

Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a good job directing this action comedy that still feels fresh today over 15 years later. (8/10)

 

Action: Rush Hour has plenty of fight scenes, chase scenes and a giant shoot out at the end which all work well for the genre. (9/10)

Comedy: Rush Hour has plenty of laughs through the clashes in culture between the two leads. (8/10)

Thriller: Rush Hour doesn’t have the thriller level that the story could have but this is more about the comedy anyway. (5/10)

Chemistry: Rush Hour uses Chan and Tucker’s chemistry to make this film a stand out 90s film. (9/10)

Settings: Rush Hour LA always makes for a good setting but we don’t see any landmarks that make the settings truly memorable. (5/10)

Suggestion: Rush Hour has to really be seen at least once by everyone it has a great blend of action and comedy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Restaurant fight scene.

Worst Part: Tucker can get annoying at times.

Action Scene Of The Film: Restaurant fight.

Funniest Scene: Lee breaks into the consul’s home.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 2

Post Credits Scene: Bloopers through the credits.

Similar Too: 48 Hours

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $244 Million

Budget: $33 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Pals Forever. If they can get past today.

Trivia: According to director Brett Ratner, this film is the first one released in the U.S. featuring Jackie Chan in an English-speaking role without any kind of dubbing. According to Ratner, before this film Chan always had his voice dubbed over in his English-speaking roles because of his uncertainty in speaking the language. For this film, however, Ratner convinced him to forgo the dubbing as it would lend to the authenticity of his character.

 

Overall: Buddy Cop Comedy Entertainment

Rating 80

Hercules (2014)

logoDirector: Brett Ratner

Writer: Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay) Steve Moore (Radical Comic ‘Hercules’)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes, Tobias Santelmann,

 

Plot: Having endured his legendary twelve labours, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Been Here Seen This

 

Story: Hercules starts by filling us in on the Hercules myth half human and half God. We hear how he completed his 12 labours giving him chance to live in peace from the Gods. Hercules (Johnson) has created a group of warriors that take out the unwanted armies. Hercules and his warriors are given an offer to take out a warlord Rhesus (Santelmann) for Lord Cotys (Hurt). Hercules must train the soldiers Cotys has as the battle gets closer.

Hercules comes off as a bit of let-down as if think I speak for all we wanted to see the 12 labours instead of an opening story that takes up less than five minutes of the film. The war between the two different sides ends up being boring and seem plenty of times before. It basically is no different than Dwayne’s Scorpion King we have legendary warrior who has involvement with Gods who fights for a king only to be betrayed before leading an uprising. The one good point is that we never see anything that is mythological as the stories try to tell of, instead it is just how things can be mis-read. This does have slightly better supporting characters who offer a lot more to Hercules’ backstory but in the end has been seen too many times. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dwayne Johnson: Hercules the son of Zeus and great warrior who been through the 12 labours to achieve his freedom from the gods. He leads a small group of warriors into battle against a ruthless warlord. Dwayne was built for this type of role and he does a good job with all the fighting and pure screen presence. (7/10)

 rock

Ian McShane: Amphiaraus a man who can see the future and is sent messages from the Gods. Ian offers the most laughs of the supporting cast as he keeps them on their toes about who will die and when he sees his own death his acceptance comes off very funny. (7/10)

lovejoy

John Hurt: Lord Cotys who hires Hercules and his warriors to fight against and warlord knowing he is only a mercenarily, but he doesn’t seem to be all we are expecting. John does the basic well and in the end he is just a big name in a film he didn’t need to be in. (5/10)hurt

Support Cast: Hercules has a large supporting cast, we have the warriors with Hercules with the highlight being the beautiful Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) as the deadly archer. We also have the standard names that fill this type of film, a general who dislikes Hercules, the princess who see him as the saviour and the villain who is actually fighting the good fight.

 

Director Review: Brett Ratner – Brett does a standard job directing where he never pushes the idea to a level we haven’t seen and just tries to play safe and steady. (6/10)

 

Action: Hercules has very generic fighting scenes which all come off very well but offer nothing new to the genre. (7/10)

Chemistry: Hercules creates good chemistry between the warriors which shows while in battle. (8/10)

Settings: Hercules creates authentic looking settings for the battles. (8/10)

Suggestion: Hercules is one to try, it offers very little new but action fans might enjoy this. (Action Fans Try)

 

Best Part of Hercules: The idea of taking away the mythological side of the Hercules story.

Worst Part of Hercules: We should have seen more of the 12 labours of Hercules.

What Could Have Been Better? – 12 Labours are what makes Hercules such an interesting story, that is what we want to see too.

Action Scene Of Hercules: First big battle.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could do

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Scorpion King

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $243 Million

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Before he was a legend, he was a man.

 

Overall: Disappointing 

Rating 40