After the Sunset (12A)

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Review byMatthew Turner17/11/2004

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Light-hearted, enjoyable caper flick that gets good mileage from both its stunning locations and its equally stunning cast.

The posters for After The Sunset (not to be confused with Before Sunset, or Before Sunrise, for that matter) proudly proclaim that the film is “From the director of Rush Hour and Red Dragon”. It’s debatable just how much of a draw that is, but whether you liked or loathed those films, After the Sunset is neither as funny (or as fast-paced) as Rush Hour, nor as dark a thriller as Red Dragon.

Instead, it’s a light-hearted, enjoyable caper flick that’s mostly content just to hang out with its sexy cast in a series of stunning locations, occasionally tossing out the odd joke.

One Last Heist

After half-inching the second of the three famous Napoleon diamonds from under the nose of FBI Agent Stanley Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), master jewel thief Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) retires to Paradise Island in the Bahamas, along with his sexy sidekick, Lola (Salma Hayek). The pair plan to live out the rest of their days relaxing in tropical paradise but Agent Lloyd has other ideas and tails them to the island, believing that Max is planning to lift the third and final diamond from a touring exhibition.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Max also comes under pressure to steal the diamond for local gangster Henry Mooré (Don Cheadle, thankfully accent-free).

There’s something about Pierce Brosnan that makes him ideal casting for charming jewel thief-types; he was terrific in The Thomas Crown Affair and he got his big break playing a smooth-talking con man in the fondly-remembered TV series Remington Steele. This, then, is the sort of role he can play in his sleep: likeable, sexy, charming, with just a hint of world-weariness.

He has palpable chemistry with Salma Hayek (the lucky bastard), but he also has surprisingly effective comic chemistry with Woody Harrelson. They make an amusing, if unlikely double-act, particularly in the scene where they end up in bed together.

Balance Of Exposed Flesh

In fact, both Brosnan and Harrelson spend an awful lot of time with their shirts off in the movie, though you quickly get the feeling that the main purpose of that is to balance out the huge number of scenes that feature Salma Hayek with copious cleavage or bouncing around in a skimpy bikini. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Accordingly, Hayek is heart-stoppingly gorgeous throughout – if ever there was a movie that deserved to be seen for Shallow And Obvious Reasons, this is it. Under the circumstances, rising British star Naomie Harris (making her US debut, complete with sexy Jamaican accent) does well to get noticed at all, but she does a good job, even if it does seem a little unlikely that she’d fall for Lloyd.

The film isn’t entirely flawless – there are a few moments that don’t really work, such as an over-reliance on a remote-control device and a couple of other lazy plot moments. It’s not quite as tense or as exciting as it should be, either.

That said, it’s still an enjoyable Friday night sort of film, thanks to its likeable characters and a cast that are almost as sexy as its beautiful location. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, you’ll book a ticket to the Bahamas. Probably. Worth seeing, anyway.

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After the Sunset (12A)
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Content updated: 26/09/2015 20:58

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