Analyzing the need for a movie like "After the Sunset" led me to this: Pierce Brosnan – not bad. He’s still a hottie and he’s charming onscreen. A heist movie – alright, I’ll bite. If it’s got Brosnan, at least we know he can handle the genre. Brett Ratner – now we’re getting into sketchy territory. But wait, relief is in sight with the appearance of Salma Hayek.
Hayek’s talented and usually picks decent movies to star in, so you might be tempted to believe there’s hope for “After the Sunset” after all. Unfortunately, hope is extinguished rather quickly when it becomes apparent all Salma Hayek’s there for is to display her beautiful body in as little clothing as possible. Granted there are males out there who will find this reason enough to see “After the Sunset,” but to me it wasn’t enough to save this very forgettable, very ordinary caper film.
The heist itself is a mere backdrop to the actual story, which is the romance between Brosnan and Hayek and between Harrelson and Naomie Harris. The planning of the heist and its execution are sort of pushed aside to make room for developing a friendship between the master thief (Brosnan) and the FBI man (Harrelson) who is obsessed with taking him down.
I like to see the mechanisms that go into planning the heist in a heist movie. But no, in “After the Sunset” that’s not as important as inserting as many elbow jabs to the stomach, gay-toned jokes between Harrelson and Brosnan as possible.
What little humor there is in “After the Sunset” comes from setting Harrelson and Brosnan up for assorted ‘are they or aren’t they gay’ jokes. And other than one scene where the two men have a battle with a shark (the shark lucks out because he’s in and out of the movie extremely quickly), every bit of the dialogue and circumstances of the film feels like they could have been lifted from dozens of other heist/buddy/romance movies over the past decade or two.
Brosnan’s done this character before and seems to go through the paces without difficulty. He’s handsome, charming, and capable of doing this role in his sleep. Thankfully he doesn’t do that, as that would have been the film’s proverbial last straw.
And Woody Harrelson as an FBI agent? That’s a bit of casting against type if there ever was one. Harrelson plays the agent as a bumbling idiot, with Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek constantly getting the upper-hand in all situations, which might be what attracted Harrelson to the role. Sure there’s a twist at the end, but overall Harrelson’s FBI agent is a totally unrealistic character that would have been better suited to the rank of a sheriff trainee or other such member of the law enforcement community.
Salma Hayek’s wasted as Brosnan’s love interest/accomplice. A totally one-dimensional character that fleets in and out of scenes in increasingly less clothing, Hayek can do and normally does much better than this.
A real yawner with no redeeming value, “After the Sunset” should do a fast fade over the horizon. Only for the most ardent Brosnan fans, this movie’s a heist movie without much of a heist, a comedy with too few jokes, and a romance without any chemistry.
“After the Sunset” was directed by Brett Ratner and is rated PG-13 for sexuality, violence and language.