After The Sunset

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle
Director: Brett Ratner

Firstly let’s meet the stars of this tale of thieves, gangsters, FBI agents, police officers and good old fashioned love.

Before I introduce you to Max ask yourself what you would do if you had reached the top of your chosen career and there was no longer a need to do what you do best to survive?

Well Max (Pierce Brosnan) is a master thief who prides himself on his expert ability to ensure that violence is not used in any of his heists and he always has a rock solid alibi. He has pulled off several jobs and has so far evaded the law to walk away free but what does he do now that he does not have to steal anymore?

Lola (Salma Hayek) is Max’s girlfriend and partner in crime. All she wants is for him to fully commit to her and finally lay all his urges to steal ‘big’ to rest. She just wants him to appreciate that what he has with her is more precious than the most precious diamonds in the world.

Agent Lloyd of the FBI (Woody Harrellson) has been trying to arrest Max and Lola for years but always ends up embarrassed and with no evidence to link either of them to the crimes.

Max and Lola are now retired and living on an exotic island and just as everything seems to be working out perfectly for them, Agent Lloyd turns up insisting that they are only there to steal a rare diamond from a cruise ship that will be docking at the island for a few days. Meanwhile a local gangster (Don Cheadle) propositions Max to steal the diamond and take him on as his partner. As they are forced to interact in a civil manner Max and Agent Lloyd begin to realise that as much as they may hate each other they also respect each other in many ways. As suspicions mount, Max is forced to either resist the temptation to pull off yet another incredibly dangerous job that could effectively ruin any chances of happiness he has with Lola or give in and prove that he is still the best there is.

Director Brett Ratner of RED DRAGON and RUSH HOUR 2 directs this pleasant tale with the same glossy appeal that he gave to those two other films, and it works simply because it is a straight forward old fashioned crime caper. It does not aim to be more than it offers – some very funny comedic moments, a sweet love story and a rehash of that old theme of the last job that has to be done by the master thief character in order for him to vanquish his demons forever.

Pierce “007” Brosnan treads similar territory here as he played an equally exceptional criminal in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR but nonetheless he still delivers a very entertaining performance as the man who is afraid to face the sunset even though it might be just what he has been chasing after all his life. Salma Hayek is very passionate in her role as a woman who tries so hard to show her loved one that at the end of it all her love for him is all that he should really need. Woody Harrellson is equally entertaining as the embarrassed FBI agent with a grudge that turns out to be a double-edged revenge ploy. Don Cheadle handles his role with an efficiently cool ruthlessness that suits his gangster character.

This should play well with audiences that do not want too much action or too much to think about, but for those who are after something more challenging perhaps this might not be your cup of tea as it is a run of the mill crime caper that really only stands out because of the entertaining performances by the actors in it.

Either way it is definitely worth the trip to the cinema.

4 out of 6 stars

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