After the Sunset (15PG)Thursday 18 Nov 2004
Directed by Brett Ratner, starring Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek, Naomie Harris and Don Cheadle.
After one last heist, diamond thief Max 'The King of Alibis' Burdett (Brosnan) and partner Lola (Hayek) retire to the Bahamas for cocktails, lobster dinners and plenty of lie-ins. But their nemesis, FBI Agent Stan Lloyd (Harrelson), isn't convinced by the lifestyle change and, in truth, neither is Max.
So when Stan decides to pay Max a visit in paradise, it coincides with the arrival of a new passenger liner, whose main claim to fame is that it houses in a display the third Napoleon diamond - and the only one Max hasn't stolen. Stan dangles this information in front of the thief, but really he doesn't need too much tempting, and soon the game of cat and mouse has resumed under the sun.
Having enjoyed huge success ($123m at US box office alone) with the remake of 'The Thomas Crown Affair', the only surprise about Brosnan starring in another heist caper is how long it has taken him to get around to it. But there's no way 'After the Sunset' will enjoy anywhere near the same level of success - it's not as polished and, even at 100 minutes, it feels like a rush job.
While Harrelson has no need to present his comic credentials to anyone (and is the best thing about the film), Brosnan isn't in the same league and neither Ratner or scriptwriter Paul Zbyszewski do him any favours by failing to wring the full gag potential out of the storyline. Good scenes, like both men rubbing sun tan lotion into each other's backs and waking up in the same bed, are the exception, and 'After the Sunset' is never as smart, funny or sexy as it likes to thinks it is.
Then there's the heist. Injected with the same level of tension as if Max had decided to take a colour supplement from another newspaper and hide it in his own, you wonder why it was necessary to have a robbery at all. Why couldn't Stan just have appeared to try and pin something on Max, without resorting to a set piece that may have you looking at your watch, but not out of fear about the master thief getting caught.
If you were in a hotel room on holidays and it was on the movie channel, 'After the Sunset' would pass the time. But, presumably, you could also think of better things to do.