Review: AFTER THE SUNSET

Max (Pierce Brosnan) and Lola (Salma Hayek) are two of the best jewel thieves in the world, adroitly dodging the apprehension attempts of FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson). After successfully pulling off one final robbery, the two retire to the Bahamas to live out a life of sun, sand and scuba diving. However, six months of paradise is about all that Max can take and when a cruise ship displaying the only remaining diamond of a series of three that he hasn’t stolen makes port at their island retreat, Max suddenly finds himself tempted at making one last score. Complicating matters is Lola’s reluctance to participate in the heist, Agent Lloyd’s sudden appearance on the island and a local crime boss (Don Cheadle) who wants Max to steal the gem for himself.

The film is an uneven mess, never deciding what tone it wants to take. Lightly comedic scenes are backed up to more serious scenes. The movie at times feels like it wants to be a caper film, but it never really creates a true sense of cat-and-mouse interplay between Max and Agent Lloyd. The actual jewel heist scenes that open and close the film are poorly staged by director Brett Ratner and never invoke any kind of tension or excitement.

Brosnan does the best with what he has to work with, which unfortunately, isn’t much. He manages to deliver yet another variation of his charming rogue persona, shading Max with a bit more depth than is readily apparent in the screenplay. The rest of the cast is left equally adrift by the script. Character actor Don Cheadle is wasted in his role as a hedonistic crime boss who rationalizes his lifestyle by claiming deep philosophical insights from the songs of 60s folk-pop group The Mamas And The Papas. His character’s sole purpose seem to be to provide a twist in the proceedings so contrived that it only exists to help out the film’s finale.

Another wasted opportunity is the inclusion of Salma Hayek in the cast. While the film takes advantage of every opportunity it gets to strip her down to as skimpy a wardrobe as its PG-13 rating will allow, she exists for no other reason than to supply some name-recognition eye candy. Hayek has proven that she is a capable actress in films such as The Velocity Of Gary (1998) and Frida (2002). Unfortunately, the script here shies away from any real dramatic moments between Lola and Max, and that’s doubly disappointing when one stops to think of what Hayek could have done with the role.

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About Rich Drees 6664 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture.
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