Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Sundown: Gringos on Spring Break
Vallarta is a major tourist destination, but the State Department has imposed
considerable travel restrictions on U.S. government personnel within the
surrounding state of Jalisco. Unfortunately, two obnoxious American teenagers
(who look like they are pushing thirty) manage to blunder about completely
unharmed. Perhaps Mexico should consider supporting Donald Trump’s border wall
given the shallow horniness of Fernando Lebrija’s Sundown (trailer
which opens today in New York.
is supposed to prove to his parents he can be responsible while they are off on
a cruise, but his best bud Blake convinces him to dash down to Puerto Vallarta
instead. Since they know his longtime crush will also be partying down there
with her friends, he also cajoles Logan into wearing his father’s
passed-down-for-generations Rolex to impress her. Right what could go wrong,
besides everything, starting with their hotel reservation.
fancies himself the next “Girls Gone Wild”-style media mogul, he is constantly
recording jiggle shots on his cell phone. Evidently, the whole “safe space”
trend bypassed Mexico, because when Blake accidentally sleeps with a transsexual,
it is played for laughs like it’s the 1970s. Logan fares somewhat better with
Gaby, the bombshell hooker with a heart of gold, who is forced to appropriate
the conspicuously Macguffiny Rolex in lieu of payment, after she roofied the
idiot. At least she will help the lads get it back from her weirdly flamboyant
pimp, along with Chuy, the aggressively-annoying, compulsively angle-working
cabbie who becomes their constantly mugging constant companion.
there you have it. Yet, Sundown still
has a claim to cool, because Logan’s techno DJ heroes Steve Aoki and Paul
Oakenfold briefly play themselves. Evidently there is quite the vital club
scene in Puerto. However, do not expect to find your personal off-the-books
driver like Chuy. Travel authorities recommended tourists only take officially
regulated “sitio” taxis.
Gaby, Camilla Belle (who was something else in American Side) does her best to keep Sundown afloat, but she is fighting a losing battle. Devon
Werkheiser doesn’t give her much support, but his portrayal of Logan is mostly
inoffensive. However, Sean Marquette is like fingernails on the blackboard as
the icky, shticky, forty-something looking Blake. Silverio Palacios is hardly
any more dignified as the bug-eyed and occasionally naked Chuy. Still, it is somewhat
amusing to see Terri Hatcher and Christopher Guest-regular John Michael Higgins
as Logan’s parents.
is the sort of film that could convince both
countries “good fences makes good neighbors,” to quote Robert Frost quoting his
own rustic neighbor. Yet, it might also be somewhat dangerous, giving easily
misled Millennials a false sense of security with respects to the back alleys
of Puerto, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Regardless, Sundown is not recommended when it opens
today (5/13) in New York, at the AMC Empire.
Labels: Camilla Belle