After the Sunset

Although it looks great, mediocrity is the appropriate word for After the Sunset, a dull caper movie that would be interesting if it hadn't been done many times already. The most recent example is The Big Bounce, a boring flick that took place in Hawaii. After the Sunset moves to another tropical island, ages the main characters, changes the race of the leading lady, and voila, instant movie. There are only so many ways to tell a story, and the people behind this one make no attempt to do anything original. It's the first role for Pierce Brosnan (Laws of Attraction, Die Another Day) after his official separation from the Bond franchise, and it seems like an older, lazier version of Bond, who is on the other side and has a lot less gadgets. Accordingly, the film begins with an action sequence where legendary thief Max Burdett (Brosnan) steals a diamond out from right under the fingertips of FBI Agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson, Go Further, She Hate Me). The sequence is slick and mildly entertaining, but has no thought behind it.

The film flashes forward seven years with Burdett and accomplice/lover Lola Cirillo (Salma Hayek, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids 3-D) happily retired, living in the Bahamas. Or are they? Lloyd reappears suddenly. It seems that the diamond Burdett stole years ago was the second of three Napoleon diamonds. The third diamond (and the only one he hasn't stolen) is going to coincidentally appear on a cruise ship docking right near to the resort where Burdett and Cirillo live. Burdett humiliated Lloyd years ago, and Lloyd wants to catch Burdett in the act, so that he can redeem himself. He enlists the help of Sophie (Naomie Harris, 28 Days Later, Anansi), a local police officer. After the Sunset inexplicably turns into one of those buddy cop movies where the two leads hate each other. The one twist is that instead of two cops, one is a crook.

Burdett insists that he has no interest in the diamond. Nobody believes him, including Cirillo. His plans are often intricate, and such that he always has a solid alibi that exonerates him from culpability. The problem is that it's obvious that he will steal the diamond. It's only a matter of how and when. Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg (Hotel de Love) pile on the same turns that everybody expects and can predict, and then throw in a bunch of lame humor, mostly at Harrelson's expense. He is a bumbling FBI Agent, out for revenge. After the Sunset takes random time outs to have Brosnan and Harrelson oil each other up, spoon after a night of sleeping next to each other, and get drunk together. It's obvious where the script was going, but it's not funny.

Instead, director Brett Ratner (Red Dragon, Rush Hour 2) figures that he can make people pay attention by parading Hayek around in a series of bikinis, low cut tank tops, and dresses. She lounges around half-naked and tends to bend over a lot. It does keep one's attention, but come on. But Ratner does know how to make a slick movie, and After the Sunset is slick. It moves quickly, and all of the actors hit their marks, although none look like their hearts are in it. Brosnan develops his character by acting bored and not shaving. He gets the look right, but doesn't do anything beyond that. There is a lazy feeling to the entire film, almost as if the resort paradise made everybody forget about

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexuality, violence, and language.

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