4/10 A fantastic teaser trailer, overall decent reviews and a great cast had me so excited for “Sundown”, thinking it would be an indie gem that mainstream audiences have never even heard of but film buffs fall in love with and recommend to everyone they know. With a running time of only an hour and 23 minutes, I was surprised at how short the movie was but figured it would fly by quickly. Unfortunately, despite some of the positives, “Sundown” ends up being extremely disappointing with completely unclear character motivations, unanswered questions and an ending that made me wonder why I bothered watching in the first place. The movie’s trailer is far more interesting than the movie itself as not a lot happens in the movie except Tim Roth being an absolute dick to everyone around him as he mopes around, selfishly drinking and neglecting loved ones. It is hard to root for or care about your main character when they are simultaneously a chore and a bore to spend time with. Despite the movie’s shorter running time, moments drag and go on for too long as characters hang out at the beach, hang out at restaurants, hang out at hotels, drinking, eating, resting, having sex and not much else. Moments of excitement are few and far between. Even the relationship between Neil (Roth) and Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is hazy until half way through the movie. We might know Neil’s motivations for acting the way he does but he never says why and when people ask he just indifferently ignores them. I kept waiting for a big reveal or for the slow burn to explode in the movie’s climax but neither happened. The basic premise is interesting (if they would have explored it more) and the acting is fantastic, which shouldn’t be a surprise coming from the talent involved. The production design, costume design and locations beautifully mix the tropical beaches of Mexico with how deadly and corrupt the country is. I appreciated that the opening shot (also seen in the trailer) is of fish suffocating, since most of our characters are metaphorically suffocating for the duration of the movie as well. Despite the strong cinematography and cast, this slow moving, unlikable movie has no payoff and leaves you with more questions than answers by the time the end credits begin. But by that time, you won’t really care.

#TwoThumbsSunDown / #NoTimRothIRA / #TheHatefulMate / #ImNotThere2 / #ToBeachTheirOwn / #LetDown

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