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After the Sunset (2004)

Who will walk away?

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 100 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

Pierce Brosnan does a less-than-convincing job of convincing us he’s shaken (but not stirred) James Bond out of his system in this uninspired crime caper.

Brozzers might have recently handed in his License to Kill, but the suave, lady-bedding and downright sneaky persona of Bond-James-Bond is still very much in evidence here as he plays grizzled jewel thief Max Burdett. Alongside girlfriend and long-term partner-in-crime Lola (Salma Hayek, whose skimpy costumes mean the camera rarely bothers to show us her face), he’s just nabbed the one last big ol’ diamond that will allow him to retire to the Bahamas and see out his days on the straight-and-narrow.

But wouldn’tcha know it, the sun-kissed island where Max and Lola choose to see out their days sipping down over-decorated cocktails also just happens to be the current home of the priceless “Napoleon III” diamond. FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), still smarting from being made to look the pillock during the pair’s last heist, decides he’s having none of it, and hops onto the next plane to paradise to try to catch them. But are our self-consciously attractive couple after the rock at all, or are they really just down there to sunbathe and grow into a couple of codgers?

Perhaps it’s the energy-sapping heat of the surroundings that’s to blame, or maybe it’s just general lack of enthusiasm for what is a pretty lacklustre overall production, but ‘After the Sunset’ is one of those movies where everyone involved just appears to be going through the motions. Harrelson, an actor whose better roles sadly seem to be behind him, never manages to deliver his lines with anything more than a bored slur. Hayek could just have easily have posted a photograph of her breasts to the shoot, because at times it does genuinely feel as if the rest of her has decided not to turn up. As for the Brozmeister, he really needs to find himself something a bit different to do (and, if the rubbish ‘Laws of Attraction’ is anything to go by, romantic comedy isn’t the answer either).

The film does contain a few funny moments (all of which, annoyingly, are shown in the trailers), and I did quite like the way thing comes together at the end. Unfortunately, director Brett Rattner manages to inject none of the lively action-comedy he managed so well in Rush Hour, and neither does he match the tension of Red Dragon. That’s probably because, just like the heroes’ chosen lifestyles, this is a lazy film. There’s no excitement, no big set-piece, and none of the characters are ever in significant, credible danger – as a result, it’s pretty tough to care, or even maintain interest.

It's Got: Brozzers doing himself with no favours with his frequent shirtlessness, reminiscent, as it is, of when really old men start washing their cars half-naked in the summertime.

It Needs: A better title, such as ‘The Last Temptation of Heist’.


What is it about spending time in the sunshine that just makes you want to yawn uncontrollably?