After The Sunset

This tired caper comedy, directed by Brett Ratner from Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg's painfully derivative screenplay, is permanently trapped in the doldrums, drifting listlessly from one gadget-heavy set piece to another without ever stirring up so much as a ripple of energy. It is, however, a fine feature-length advertisement for the tacky charms...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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This tired caper comedy, directed by Brett Ratner from Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg's painfully derivative screenplay, is permanently trapped in the doldrums, drifting listlessly from one gadget-heavy set piece to another without ever stirring up so much as a ripple of energy. It is, however, a fine feature-length advertisement for the tacky charms of the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, the Bahamas. Jewel thief Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) and Lola Cirillo (Salma Hayek), his partner in crime and criminally sexy hanky-panky (or so we're meant to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary), plan to retire after one last heist. The master of the perfect alibi, Max snatches a priceless bauble from under the nose of FBI agent Stanley P. Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), then repairs with Lola to a lovely little house on a strip of unspoiled beach. Six months of eating lobster, drinking delicious cocktails and watching sunsets later, Max is bored out of his skull. Enter Agent Lloyd, hell-bent on stirring up trouble in paradise and convinced that Max is preparing to steal a huge diamond from the luxury cruise ship that just docked. Max actually had no such thing in mind, but now that he's aware of the sparkler's proximity, the old itch is back. Cue the complications: Max and Stan play cat and mouse. Ambitious local cop Sophie (Naomie Harris) teams up with Stan in hopes of jump-starting her career. Transplanted American gangster Henry Moore (Don Cheadle) tries to force Max to steal the diamond for him. And Lola works the emotional-blackmail angle in hopes of keeping Max in line. But there's no sparkle to any of these machinations, and Zbyszewski and Rosenberg try to fill the dead space with stale gay jokes. Max locks lips with a bearded man, but never fear — he's Lola in disguise! Max lands in the middle of a gaggle of lisping drag queens at a costume ball. Agent Lloyd and Max rub suntan lotion on each other and, through a series of strained contrivances, are caught sleeping together in the same bed — but don't worry, nothing happened! Or maybe something did, which would explain why Max and Lola's erotic wrangling generates so little heat. On the other hand, Max and Stan don't have any chemistry either, and that's really the trouble all around: A caper comedy without chemistry is just a bunch of waiting around for something to get stolen.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: This tired caper comedy, directed by Brett Ratner from Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg's painfully derivative screenplay, is permanently trapped in the doldrums, drifting listlessly from one gadget-heavy set piece to another without ever stirring up so… (more)

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