After The Sunset

After The Sunset


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

Take a base of rum, a liberal dollop of 007 from the Roger Moore era, a measure of The Thomas Crown Affair and maybe a splash of The Love Boat. Place in a cocktail shaker and the result is After The Sunset.

Pierce Brosnan is Max, one of those cat burglars who don't actually exist except in movies like this. Urbane, stylish and witty, he's bested FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) in the theft of two priceless Napoleon diamonds and retired to the Bahamas with his fiancee Lola (Salma Hayek). When Stan learns that an exhibition of the third and final diamond is headed for the Bahamas, he determines to keep Max under close surveillance to see just how genuine his "retirement" is.

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With attractive actors, glamorous outfits and looking like an extended commercial for the Atlantis resort, one might expect little more than a sophisticated travelogue. Fortunately, the charisma of the stars, a tongue-in-cheek script and lively direction from Brett (Rush Hour) Ratner keeps things moving and agreeable the entire time.

In the final act, the screenwriters (Paul Zbyszewski, Craig Rosenberg) almost drop the ball, tying up loose ends too predictably and too safely to be entirely satisfying. However, Ratner concentrates on the cat-and-mouse section of the film, which is a lot of fun and begins to feel like a romantic comedy between the two male leads. Sadly, the world isn't ready for an ending like that yet.

You won't find anything new here. From the Lalo Schifrin score to the well-worn plot, Sunset is deja vu in celluloid form. Yet that's part of its charm, with the actors practically winking at the audience as To Catch A Thief references pop up, although, to be honest, it seems more Hart To Hart than vintage Hitchcock.

After The Sunset is engaging nonsense, set in a location where homely people have apparently been outlawed and everyone must look immaculate at all times - trust me, at no point will Hayek be seen in bunny slippers and a flannelette dressing-gown. Likeable support is provided by Don Cheadle, as a ridiculously eccentric crime boss, and Naomie Harris, as Stan's local cop sidekick, who provides glamour whenever Hayek isn't leaning over something.

If this were a cocktail, it would come with a chunk of pineapple and an umbrella. It's not cool, it's not original, but it's undeniably refreshing.

Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2004
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Light-hearted take on To Catch A Thief, transplanted to the Bahamas.
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Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Paul Zbyszewski, Craig Rosenberg

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomie Harris, Chris Penn, Troy Garity, Mykelti Williamson, Obba Babatundé, Russell Hornsby, Rex Linn

Year: 2004

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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