AFTER THE SUNSET
US, 2004, 98 minutes, Colour.
Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomi Harris, Chris Penn, Mykelti Williamson.
Directed by Brett Ratner.
Even Pierce Brosnan referred to After the Sunset as a popcorn movie. It has plenty of pop and plenty of corn.
After his James Bond films, Brosnan tries to do films that seems the antithesis of Bond. This is one of those caper stories. Despite his scruffy appearance, Brosnan is still, underneath, the suave well-spoken gentleman. Even if he is a famous jewel thief trying to live it down in the Caribbean, it doesn't matter. He is much the same.
Obviously, he is relaxing in this film. Salma Hayek is laying it on as a sex symbol and Woody Harrelson is laying it back as an FBI agent who is pursuing his quarry. Don Cheadle is a local nasty.
With plenty of panoramas of tropical islands, palm trees and sea sunsets, there is a diamond robbery, some chases, shootouts and double crosses. The innovative aspect is that Brosnan has the technology to trap people in cars and drive them by remote control.
Director, Brett Ratner, has shown he can direct a range of genres: Rush Hour, Family Man, the Hannibal Lecter drama, Red Dragon. It is all matinee stuff for the adult audience where film-makers and audiences are all on auto-pilot.
1.An entertaining confection? Caper and its consequences? Tropical romantic comedy? Cons and double-crosses? How entertaining – and forgettable or memorable?
2.The film as a Pierce Brosnan vehicle, the contrast with his image of James Bond, slouching around the tropics, the romance, the skill in his ability to steal jewels?
3.The film as a Woody Harrelson vehicle, the FBI agent, failing in his job, bonding with the criminal, the double-cross?
4.The Los Angeles setting, the opening robbery? The stunt work with the cars? The moving to the tropics? The beauty of the landscapes, the beaches? The luxury hotels? The homes? The musical score and songs?
5.The amoral tone of the film? Jewel thieves? The ingenuity of Max? the frustrations of Stanley Lloyd? Max and his working with Lola? The last job?
6.Stan, his being arrested when he came to the island, his being an FBI agent – and the irony that he was suspended from duty after his failure in the first robbery?
7.Max and Lola, the idyllic existence on the island, the romantic comedy?
8.The Napoleon Diamond, Stanley and his suspicions? Max and his putting Stan in the hotel? Going fishing with Stan? Sophie arresting Stan – and then having an affair with him?
9.Henri Moore as the local gangster, tough, Max and the arrangement for the robbery of the diamond, Max photographing the ship, the plans, giving them to Moore, advising him?
10.Lola, her wanting Max to settle down, her discovering the plan, her anger with him? Max and his spending the night at the hotel, with Stan, the homophobic jokes? The fighting?
11.The reconciliation with the two women, the scuba diving, persuading him that he has no intention of robbing, and his being absent during the scuba diving, undetected? Lola knowing what had happened? Her deciding to leave him?
12.Stan and Sophie, the discovery of the theft, Moore and his anger at Max and the double-cross? Moore and his wanting to shoot Max, Stan and Sophie killing him?
13.Max, the proposal?
14.Stan, the irony of his trying to con Max, his stealing the diamond? The irony as he drove away, the car, Max controlling the car and getting the diamond back?
15.A caper confection with tropical romance added in?