Friday, July 4, 2014

After the Sunset (2004)

Director: Brett Ratner

Writers: Paul Zbyszewski, Craig Rosenberg

Composer: Lalo Schifrin

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomie Harris, Chris Penn, Paul Benedict, Michael Bowen, Troy Garity, Obba Babatunde, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Rex Linn

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Who will walk away?

Plot: After a successful last score, a master thief retires to an island paradise. His lifelong nemesis, a crafty FBI agent, washes ashore to ensure he's making good on his promise. The pair soon enters into a new game of cat-and-mouse.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not but I wouldn't be opposed to it.

Pierce Brosnan is such a likable actor that I'll watch anything he does.  The actors all do a fine job. No complaints there.  The location shooting in the Bahamas is gorgeous.  It's a light comedy caper flick that relies on presenting the audience with the airs of being a smart, good film while distracting you with pretty people, pretty scenery, some fun dialogue and slick heist action.  That might sound harsher than it really is but the truth is I liked it but it felt like it just barely attained what it was reaching for which is a smarter cat and mouse game ending with the heist.  The wrap-up, when we find out what really happened in the end, feels too neat.  Maybe it could have been filmed in a different way or possibly it's the script.  It's a minor gripe on my part, sure, but I could almost see easily watching this again if the ending were better handled.  Don Cheadle fans will be left a little disappointed as he's relegated to an important role albeit a small one but he's great as usual.  I really dig that guy.  Salma Hayek does great, too, bringing the...

See what they did with her shifting her hair out of the way so you can see more of her, uh, acting style?  Seriously, she's wonderful and she and Brosnan have great chemistry that does a lot in selling the story.  I must say that this film got me to thinking about how boring it must get the idea of living the rest of your days on/near a beach paradise like this.  It'd be great at first but after a few weeks I think I'd go nuts and just itching for something to do...just like Brosnon's character, Max. Harrelson is a lot of fun and you'll be wondering what he's up to, if anything, throughout the entire picture.  When it's all said and done it's not that much different than the type of films they made way back when like CHARADE (1963).  It's a cute and likable caper film with some great familiar faces.  If you're in the right mood and it's a nice lazy, rainy day, this could feel like a refreshing little beach vacation that lasts about an hour an a half in that it's not substantial enough to completely recharge your batteries but it was nice while it lasted.  The New Line DVD has a few extras including deleted and alternate scenes, a blooper reel, a 70-minute making of featurette, commentary with the director, producer and editor, a Charlie Rose interview with Ratner, Brosnan, Hayek and Harrelson, an 8-minute interview with a real jewel thief (lots of fun, that one), visual effects comparisons and TV spots and trailers.  That's a lot of extras, making this an easy purchase for fans of any of the filmmakers.  You can pick it up used (with shipping) on Amazon for $4.  It's easily worth that for a 90 minute vacation.

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