After The Sunset Review
After The Sunset is a reminder of what star quality can do for a movie. Here's a run of the mill heist flick with a very mediocre script that still manages to entertain thanks to the chemistry of its two leading men, Pierce Brosnan and Woody Harrelson. Brosnan's cool, gentleman thief makes a great contrast for Harrelson's hot-headed goofball. It's fun to watch these two argue, bond and try to one-up each other. Brosnan is always good value for money but it's nice to see the underrated Harrelson, so good in The People Vs Larry Flynt, back in a major role. Director Brett Ratner made his name by finding a similarly easy chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour films, and using it to overcome their weak scripts. Technically, Ratner's directing is no more than functional but he obviously has a rapport with actors.
Brosnan plays Max Burdett, a brilliant professional thief who, together with his longtime girlfriend and partner Lola (Salma Hayek), has pulled off some of the most daring robberies in history and never been caught. After stealing two priceless Napoleon diamonds from under the nose of FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), Max and Lola have decided to quit while they're ahead and they've retired to a Caribbean paradise to live off their immoral earnings. Agent Lloyd however can't get over his humiliation and he follows the couple to their new home, booking a hotel along the beach from them and keeping them under his watchful eye. Lloyd believes Max's retirement is a ruse and that the real reason he's on the island is to rob a cruise ship which is due in port any day now and, as a promotion for its maiden voyage, is displaying the third Napoleon diamond.
Besides the two stars, After The Sunset boasts beautiful locations and beautiful actresses. Salma Hayek provides her usual Latin spunk and British actress Naomie Harris (from 28 Days Later) is funny as a local cop. Don Cheadle meanwhile creates an interesting, three-dimensional villain - an entrepeneurial American gangster who's set himself up as the island's crime boss - although disappointingly, the script gives him very little to do. That script, by Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg, keeps letting the side down. The relationships between the characters are on a sitcom level while most of the jokes wouldn't meet the standards of a good sitcom. Worse, the heist the whole movie builds up to is a tremendous disappointment. It's unconvincing and confusing and it has nothing like the excitement of the robberies in Ocean's Eleven or Brosnan's earlier, better The Thomas Crown Affair. The obligatory twist ending is another letdown. The twist is that the ending is more predictable than you predicted.