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After The Sunset

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: After The Sunset

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek
Director: Brett Ratner
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: November 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Obba Babatunde, Michael Bowen, Frank Bruynbroek, Alan Dale, Jared Day, Jeff Garlin, Naomie Harris, Rachael Harris, Rex Linn

Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

This fun-in-the-sun jewel heist caper never pretends to be more than it is. That's why, despite its familiar plotting and two-dimensional characters, it's nevertheless diverting entertainment.

Set in the Bahamas, the story begins as master thief Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) and his longtime partner-in-crime Lola (Salma Hayek) have pulled one final robbery and are settling into retirement in their new beachfront home. She's relishing her life of leisure while his restlessness is painfully obvious - until he realizes that an enormous cruise ship is due to dock nearby with an "exhibition" of the third Napoleon diamond. Max has successfully stolen the other two, a fact well known to genial FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), who doggedly tails him the way Inspector Javert followed Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables." So does he score the priceless gem?

Director Brett Ratner ("Rush Hour") realizes Pierce Brosnan (a.k.a. James Bond) could play this kind of part in his sleep - which he doesn't, even though he has a scruffy three-day growth of beard - and Salma Hayek, clad in an itsy-bitsy bikini, returns to her natural sexiness after "Frida." The fact that there's too little sizzle between them is too bad but not fatal. Woody Harrelson's the wild card and his goofy buddy-comedy with Brosnan clicks, along with his inept romantic pursuit of a local cop (Naomie Harris). Borrowing liberally from "The Thomas Crown Affair" and "The Big Bounce," screenwriters Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg keep the plot twisting enough to propel the action, although Max's relationship with the Island mob kingpin (Don Cheadle) is less than effective. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "After the Sunset" is a scenic 6. Classify this trip to paradise as a guilty pleasure.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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