After The Sunset 

There are some films that masquerade as being about some deep, intellectual philosophies of life; luckily After The Sunset is not one of them. It knows it’s just a fun-in-the-sun kind of flick that relies on the charms of its very able cast and very competent director and that’s that.

Max (Pierce Brosnan) is a happy man. He’s just retired at the top of his game having stolen a huge diamond from under the nose of the FBI and predominantly agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) with the help of his long-time girlfriend and partner Lola (Salma Hayek). No longer in the jewel stealing business he heads off to the sunny Bahamas with Lola to enjoy the rest of his life lazing in the sun.

Once in the Bahamas, Lola wants to get engaged and find a hobby or two to keep herself busy. Lazy days and boring company in the form of various holidaying couples that Lola drags Max to dinner with in an attempt to make some normal friends soon start to take their toll on Max.

It doesn’t take long before Max starts feeling like a prisoner and starts itching for one last score. His opportunity arrives in the shape of a huge cruise ship which houses an exhibition of the third Napoleon diamond – the only one out of the set of three that Max has never stolen.

This fact is not wasted on Agent Lloyd who arrives at the same time as the diamond convinced that Max cannot resist the temptation to steal it and he’s hoping that by catching the master thief his reputation will be restored within the Bureau. A reputation that was left in tatters after Max managed to steal the last diamond from right under his nose.

Although initially tempted Max is being held back by one thing – that fact that Lola is serious about being retired and stealing the gem is a two-man job. Enter a local crime kingpin (Don Cheadle), who wants Max to steal the diamond for him, which further complicates matters.

Can Max stay retired and true to Lola or will he cheat on her by going after the diamond. And if he does decide to go after the gem can outfox Stanley or will Stanley finally outfox the fox?

After The Sunset relies totally on the chemistry between Brosnan, Hayek and Harrelson. That’s it – the rest of it is all just window dressing. Luckily the three principle cast members carry the film with enough charm, wit, charisma and sexiness that when the film reaches its breezy conclusion the audience doesn’t care how weak the caper and plot really are.

Performances are good and that’s not surprising as every actors does what they do best – Brosnan does his charming, mysterious semi-Bond cad type role, Harrelson does goofy and lovable and Hayek does down right sexy to the hilt. Speaking of Salma Hayek, there are so many shots of her in various tiny bikinis and shots of her magnificent cleavage that the film borders on becoming non-nudity porn!

The key to the chemistry between Brosnan and Harrelson is that even though they are from opposite side of the law they can at least act like chums, whether they are out shark fishing, helping each other out with their respective girl problems or even sharing a hotel room when the chips are down. Their relationship is what holds the film together and they connect so well that the inevitable crossing and double-crossing from various people during the caper still makes you believe that they might just be friend whoever loses.

Director Brett Ratner is no stranger to light films that rely on chemistry between the cast having helmed Rush Hour 1 & 2. After The Sunset is a guilty pleasure and even though it has a weak plot and never really increases any real levels of tension, it’s a film that is an unpretentious diversion for the duration.

Score 7/10