Tuesday, December 13, 2005

After the Sunset

I’m not a huge Brett Ratner fan, but of all his movies this is probably my favorite.  I like heist flicks and After the Sunset is a good, though not great, one.  Brosnan’s charm, Harrelson’s wackiness, and Hayek’s beauty make this an enjoyable little film.

Max (Pierce Brosnan) and Lola (Salma Hayek) pull their last heist in Los Angeles stealing the second Napoleon diamond from FBI Agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) before retiring to the Bahamas.  On arrival Lola is content with retirement, but Max grows bored.  His boredom comes to an end when Stan shows up telling him that the third Napoleon diamond is on it’s way to the Bahamas and dares him to try and steal it.

Max is in a quandary as Lola wants nothing more than to be married and leave their criminal past in, well, the past.  Also involved is a local gangster Henri Moore (Don Cheadle) who wants Max to steal the diamond to help him pay for his gun running, prostitution, and drug business.

The movie hits various genres: caper, heist, romance, buddy comedy, and drama.  While not all the parts work enough of it does to make the film enjoyable and highly watchable.  The best parts for me are Brosnan’s scenes with Harrelson and the interplay between them.  Hayek is wonderful as the smart, sexy, and sultry Loyla.  Naomie Harris gives a good performance as local policewoman Sophie who teams up with Llyod to catch the diamond thieves.

I love Don Cheadle, but here he’s stuck with the worst written character in the movie - a gangster who lives his life according to “the free love philosophy of the Mamas and the Papas.”  In a lesser actor’s hands this would kill the film, here though Cheadle makes it bearable.

As a heist film it works well in exploring not only how the heist is accomplished, but how Max always sets up a very public alibi to throw any possible suspicion off his trail.  The heist scenes shown in the movie are well done and I liked the nice nod to To Catch a Thief.

One thing I adore from the film is the sets and location.  Max and Lola’s house was built from scratch (you can see a little of this in the extras) and it’s just really cool.  The choice of location and cinematography are right on for the entire film including some very good underwater scenes.

A good heist film with some pretty decent DVD extras and a nice performances from the entire cast.  Is it cinematic gold?  No, but it’s entertaining, suspenseful, and funny and has Salma Hayek in a bikini on the beach.  What more could you want?

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