A Film Review By The Mike
|Rating: PG-13 for Violence, Sexuality, and a New Record for Least Clothes per Square Inch of Body Area without Nudity
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek
Directed By: Brett Ratner
Inspired heavily by (and even referring to) Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, After the Sunset plays out as another Hollywood excuse to give stars a free vacation in a tropical paradise. This isn’t always a bad thing, and it is a good excuse to see how little clothing Salma Hayek can wear in one movie, but here it doesn’t add up to much more than a pleasant diversion.
Max and Lola (Pierce Brosnan and Hayek) are a couple (literally) of retired thieves, whose world is turned upside down by the arrival of FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), who they once foiled and embarrassed. Of course, he brings news of a rare diamond that they haven’t stolen, which just happens to be appearing on their tropical resort….for a limited time, of course.
The game is set, and all the usual heist movie tricks follow. Max wants the diamond, Lola wants him to quit, Stan wants to catch him. There’s even a “ruthless” Gangsta (Don Cheadle) who wants the diamond. Sadly, the talented Cheadle is wasted in a role that’s not developed (and not really ruthless either), and becomes more of a plot device than a character.
There are things to like about After the Sunset, and they aren’t limited to Hayek’s physique. Brosnan and Harrelson play off each other like the seasoned veterans they are, and there’s a lot of good humor in the script that’s set up perfectly by their relationship. And it’s needless to say the film looks good, abusing its tropical settings whenever it needs to. But prettiness and cuteness do not a movie make.
In the end, Brett Ratner’s film plays out in a slight and entertaining manner, but there’s nothing memorable about it once it’s gone. Everyone here seems to just be going through the motions and collecting a paycheck in paradise, instead of seeming to actually want to make an entertaining film experience. The paradise formula works when there’s a bit of heart behind it, but here it’s simply a vapid excuse that doesn’t even get past the eyes.