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'Sunset's like this occur every day

Nov. 18, 2004

By BLAKE MICHELSON, contributor

Directed by Brett Ratner (Red Dragon and Rush Hour), After the Sunset was unoriginal on so many levels -- plot, script, cinematography and characters.

The story was about a "retired" diamond thief named Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) and his sexy girlfriend / partner Lola (Salma Hayek) seeking closure to a successful history of crime. Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) is an FBI agent who was humiliated by Burdett in his attempts to capture the suave thief. The movie is based off the question "Can a thief ever truly settle down?"

Brosnan played the same cocky character that he played in The Thomas Crown Affair and used enough sleazy puns to rival a James Bond film.

The movie calls for an attractive female who's smart and sassy and Hayek promptly answers the call, filling the role perfectly. Unfortunately, her scantily clad character is portrayed in a demeaning and sleazy light for a good portion of the film. It seems as though Ratner knew the film's fate did not lie in the hands of an Academy Award, so instead he went with what would sell.

Harrelson plays a good idiot, this is a given, and his relationship with Brosnan is comical at times.

The movie did a poor job of setting up the crime and the audience could have been better captivated if Sunset had showed more of the heist. Instead, there was an anticlimactic aspect consistent in the one hour and 40 minutes of false suspense, resulting in a terrible ending.

Also contributing to the film's weaknesses was the fact that there was no sense of true consequence established, no point at which one would feel compelled to root for Brosnan's character. Brosnan was so weakly established as being a master criminal, that the audience was expected to believe it as fact; however, they show no examples of his "superiority."

In a movie such as this, you walk in expecting to be fooled -- well; you won't be in this one. Brosnan and Hayek are merely good eye candy -- wish I could say the same for Woody.