What do you get when you mix an older thief at the top of his game with a younger, sexy accomplice in a situation where no one can trust anyone else? You get Entrapment, the intriguing (yet romantically disturbing) crime thriller with Sean C. and Catherine Z. Throw in a washed up FBI agent, a feisty Bahamian police officer, two island masseuses and one really big diamond, stir it up (but don’t shake, lest this become a James Bond flick), and you’ve got After the Sunset, a quirky dromantic-actionomedy that wasn’t good enough for the summer heat, but a little too cool for the September slumps.
Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) is one of the world’s top gem thieves. More artist than con, he takes particular joy in creating fantastic alibis that leave his federal government pursuers unable to touch him. His partner in the business (and in bed) is the lovely Lola Cirillo (Salma Hayek). Together they have foiled the FBI’s most elaborate security efforts and stolen two of the three world famous Napoleon diamonds, making an embarrassment of the FBI and Special Agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson).
Following these daring heists, Lola convinces Max that they should be their last and that it’s time to retire and get married. You’d think that a carefree retirement of wealthy extravagance in the Bahamas with one of the world’s most beautiful women (who loves you unconditionally even though you’re fifteen years older than she is) would be enough for any man. Too bad Max isn’t any man. When Lloyd shows up in the Bahamas as part of an FBI operation to protect a traveling gem exhibit that just happens to be displaying the third Napoleon diamond, Max must decide what is more important to him, his art or him woman.
After the Sunset is one of those movies that tries too hard to be a little bit of a lot things all at once. I give Brett Ratner some applause for attempting to pick up where he left off with the Rush Hour films. He does his best to infuse freshman screenwriter Paul Zbyszewski’s script with tidbits of everything including romance, comedy, action, suspense and even some little twists at the end. The treatment works well from moment to moment, but overall the film comes across like a piñata at a birthday party with the children blindly swinging and occasionally getting in a few good hits. Unfortunately Sunset never really breaks open and precious little candy actually spills out.
Harrelson and Brosnan seem to have dusted off their old television personas for this movie. Stan Lloyd is what Woody from “Cheers” would have been had he wised up a little and joined the FBI. Likewise, Max comes across as a slightly geriatric version of Remington Steele. The two have a surprising comedic chemistry together, but it’s not the kind of magic that franchises are made of a la Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Brosnan and Hayek don’t quite match up either. Both have a stunning charisma unto themselves, but watching them together is akin to the creepy cradle robbing that was Connery and Zeta-Jones in Entrapment.
It’s no surprise to me that this film didn’t get a summer release. Even with its sexy Bahamian setting (the famous Atlantis resort, no less), witty characters, and pleasantly quick pace, it’s just not movie enough to compete. But, despite the excessive and cliché use of steel drums in the score, it’s not an altogether terrible piece either. With plenty of laughs and a few chick-flick moments feathered in, there’s something to indulge everyone.
Reviewed By: Scott Gwin