(Release Date: November 12, 2004)
Enter Pierce Brosnan, whose most significant non-007 success has been The Thomas Crown Affair. In that film he played a wealthy art theif always one step away from being nabbed by the Fuzz. Now, to make damned sure that he's never typecast as James Bond, Brosnan has torn up his contract and decided to appear in After the Sunset, in which he plays a wealthy Jewel theif, always one step away from being nabbed by the Fuzz! Great job, Bros'! You'll never be typecast now!
Although the chances are strong that you've seen this flick before, After the Sunset is a relatively inoffensive little Island Crime Caper movie, with more beauty than an episode of America's Next Tople$$ Model, and even less intelligence. The Brosinator plays Max Burdett, the greatest, smoothest and luckiest Jewel Thief in History. Great, because he's nabbed two of the three "Napoleon Diamonds" (Bigger than a Golf Ball); smooth, because he's played in full-on Remington Steel cool whisper; and Lucky because he gets to sleep with Salma Hayek! After a great big opening scene, surrounding an LA Lakers Game, with Cameos by everyone from Edward Norton to Phil Jackson to Chris Penn to Shaq himself, Max "retires" to a Carribean Paridise with his leading lady! Unfortunately, the humiliated FBI man who is obsessed with catching them both (Woody Harrelson's Stan Lloyd) follows them in hot pursuit.
Hot is right! The good news is that Hayek's Lola Cirillo is all over this movie in various stages of dress (or lack thereof)! Though mercilessly never nude, she's so incredibly hot in scene after scene, it's almost worth sitting through this crummy movie to see.
Almost, because what starts out as a fun and interesting dramatic crime caper (think Carribean Ocean's Eleven) quickly degenerates into an anemic and schizophrenic combination of hard drama, paperback romance, slapstick comedy and T.V. Movie of the Week, with about as many surprises as a Jack-in-the-Box! Just when you think you're watching a cute little island romance, someone gets shot. Just when you think you're watching a drama Harrelson and Brosnan switch from Cat and Mouse to Father and Son and get goofier than Mickey Mouse's best pal. There's a great skill to balancing an unpredictable mix of genres, but director Brett Ratner (of Rush Hour and Red Dragon fame) seems a lot more skilled at doing one type at a time. Here the balance results in a juggling act in which all the balls, bowling pins, watches and flaming knives fall to the stage with a clang and an oops!
Adding to the confusion is the top notch talent here. Sure Hayek, Harrelson and Brosnan are always (well, usually) fun to watch, but somehow Don Cheadle (one of our best actors) ended up adding another wrinkle as the Island Crime Boss, Henry Mooré (that's AWN-REE MOH-RAY)! Further, Naomie Harris (of 28 Days Later...) is excellent as Sophie, the Police Officer obsessed with nabbing old Henry! Not only is her Island Accent near-flawless, she's also as hot as Salma Hayek here. Whoa! All that and a Cameo from Paul Benedict (Mr. Bentley from The Jeffersons... you have your priorities, I have mine)!
It's easy to call After the Sunset "All in Good Fun", and mostly it is. Even as predictable and silly as it was, I wasn't bored. However, it's not ever a terribly good film, and I often wondered why so many good ones attached themselves to this little flick! From the derivitive plot, to the cliche of that "last big job before retirement" to the ticklish attempt at the "surprise twist ending", you might have some fun, but you're better off waiting for the Saturday Night Premiere on HBO in about 3 months.
After the Sunset is the flashy, silly film that can't decide just what the hell it is. I'll tell you what it is... it's a Two and a Half Star (out of Five) movie. If you're a Salma fan, a Naomie fan, or if you just plain miss Woody, this is your film! If you've ever wanted to see Pierce Brosnan acting like the Fourth Stooge, look no further. However, if you're a completist just looking for more Don Cheadle... you'd better look in the next reel! I'll see you there!
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