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November 2004

By Wilson Morales
After the Sunset

Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Brett Ratner
Producer: Beau Flynn
Screenwriter: Paul Zbyszewski & Craig Rosenberg
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek, Naomie Harris, and Don Cheadle
Screened at: Loews 42nd St.- Ewalk



In another era, like maybe the 60s or 70s, a film like "After the Sunset" would have been a good film with no flaws. You have appealing actors, an exotic location and several plots that could either be dramatic or humorous; but what you get with this film in this era is an unoriginal concept using the backdrop of a resort to lure us to see a heist film where our time is only thing that was stolen. Together, Salma and Pierce present a good chemistry, but separately Pierce has no funny bones when trying to make a comedic scene with Woody Harrelson work. If you want to explore the Bahamas and needed a film to entice your decision, then this film may be ideal; otherwise if you want a film filled with suspense and romance, then rent "The Thomas Crown Affair".

Max Burdett is thief supposedly pulling off his last heist with his partner in crime girlfriend/ fiancée Lola. In the midst of trying to pull off their latest caper in the eyes of FBI agent Stanley Lloyd, Max gets grazed in the shoulder with a bullet from the agent's gun, but manages to get away with the diamond he's stolen. Retiring to the Bahamas for a life of rest and luxury, Max and Lolo are ready to settle down as Lola awaits a wedding proposal from Max. After some time has gone by, Max gets an unexpected visit from Stanley who believes Max is simply in the Caribbean awaiting the arrival of a ship that has a diamond Max so desperately covets. Lola is quite surprised by the diamond coming her way but Max assures her that their heist days are done. Aiding Stanley in his quest to capture Max is the local police cop (Harris), who Stanley tries to woo as well. Max is further intimidated to steal the diamond by the local thug (Cheadle). In between the cat and mouse game between Max and Stanley, Max has to deal with Lola's impatience for a commitment from him as well.

Having the location shot in the Bahamas is the one of the few reasons why this film is watchable. Most films shot in the Caribbean have been in Jamaica or somewhere else, so it's great to see the Bahamas get some exposure. Aside from that, the camera just loves to see Salma Hayek and the many outfits she wears throughout the film. Every beautiful actress usually has one film where her beauty is on full display and for Hayek, it's this film. The film itself is very cliché and unoriginal, especially the lead actor, Pierce Brosnan. After playing James Bond in four films and doing the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" a few years back, this role must have been a piece of cake for him. He's played this role before and could have added something different here, but the script failed him. Also, the women in the film could serve as props for they are barely used here, and the film looks more like a comedy buddy film than a caper film. There's no suspense and the heist is not even the focal point. It may have been Ratner's original ideal but he surely sent out mixed signals. Naomie Harris is a welcome additional besides Hayek, but the two of them and Don Cheadle's performances are wasted. In some respects, the film is a fun film that exists with the banter between Brosnan and Harrelson, but at times Harrelson's mood swings and actions get repetitive and loose steam. Considering the number of biopics, horror films, and animation films currently out, "After the Sunset" is a cliché film with no dramatic tension, but its scenery makes its hard to resist.