After The Sunset

on November 12, 2004 by Tim Cogshell
Max Burdett, played by a scruffy Pierce Brosnan as a sort of James Bond gone bad, is a jewel thief, which is sort of an anachronism in the 21st century. Bling-bling aside, does anybody still have jewels? In any case, as "After the Sunset" opens, Max and his lovely accomplice Lola (Salma Hayek) have retired to Paradise Island in the Caribbean, having just pulled off the heist of a lifetime by stealing the second of the Napoleon diamonds. Meanwhile, Max's long time nemesis, FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), is hot on his trail, not believing for a second that Max has given up his life of crime. Stan teams up with a local cop, Sophie (Naomie Harris of "28 Days Later)," to figure out Max and Lola's angle, but once again Max is able to turn the tables, befriending his one-time foe in order to muddy the waters. Toss in a local crime boss who is literally called "Kingpin" (Don Cheadle) and you've got the makings of a classic caper comedy the likes of "To Catch a Thief" or "The Pink Panther" films... only not. Films like those are, of course, artifacts of their time; reset contemporarily, they would seem silly (despite the fact that there is a "Pink Panther" remake in the works) rather than funny, which is how "After the Sunset" feels--kinda inane and a bit rote.

If you really want to see a good caper film starring Pierce Brosnan, pick up his 1999 remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" with Rene Russo. It's not a comedy, but it's funny when it wants to be, the puzzle is dense with a few good twists and it's rated R, so the sexual tension turn into actual sex, which never happens in "After the Sunset." Starring Pierce Bronsan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Obba Babatunde and Naomie Harris. Directed by Brett Ratner. Written by Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg. Produced by Beau Fynn and Jay Stern. A New Line release. Adventure/Comedy. Rated PG-13 for sexuality, violence and language. Running time: 100 min

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