After the Sunset

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I wanted to like “After the Sunset”. I really did. The cast is composed of actors that I like seeing in movies, abeit for different reasons. I enjoy Pierce Brosnan and he’s perfectly stereotyped himself into that suave, good-looking rich guy role (hey, it works for him). Salma Hayek, well she’s easy on the eyes and the Director must have known that as she prances around in low cut shirts all the way through the film (no complaints here). Don Cheadle seems to get better with every movie he’s in and I really do like Woody Harrelson as an actor. Ok, so the cast is there we have a movie about a jewel heist and Pierce Brosnan plays a guy one step ahead of those in pursuit of him…Uh, kind of sounds like “The Thomas Crown Affair” if you ask me, right? Actually I enjoyed “The Thomas Crown Affair” much more than this and I’ll tell you why.

It’s the plot.

It didn’t work.

Brosnan plays Max Burdett, a jewel thief who has managed to elude the FBI. More importantly has managed to make the head agent in charge of him, Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), look like a complete idiot in the process. Max and his literal partner-in-crime Lola Cirillo (Salma Hayek) have just stolen the second of the three Napolean diamonds. That’s it. They’re retired and will live the rest of their lives on the beach adding onto their house and drinking margaritas until, well, sunset. The problem is that retirement bores Max while Lola looks forward to it. It just so happens that the third Napolean diamond (of three) is on display and wouldn’t you know it – local mobster (Don Cheadle) wants Max to steal it. But wait, there’s more…Stan has followed Max to the island and in a series of close calls, almost nabs him. There’s a very unfunny subplot that tries to get a chuckle out of the audience when it makes it look like Stan and Max are homosexual. They rub suntan lotion on each other and are caught in bed (innocently enough) together. Doesn’t make sense, right? Ok, now you’re with me…

The movie was directed by Brett Ratner who was responsible for the “Rush Hour” movies that made zillions of dollars. I personally never really liked them, but evidently mainstream America did. Ratner has a good eye, but I feel that this whole movie was rushed. Cheadle seemed to mail in his performance and Hayek and Brosnan looked like they weren’t too excited. There are plenty of shots and/or references to the resort featured prominently in the film, so I guess the cast enjoyed their stay there. All in all, “After the Sunset” probably isn’t nearly as bad as I’ve made it out to be, but the trailer makes it look like a “heist” movie when it’s really not. If you’re after that, check out “The Score”, “Ocean’s Eleven” or “The Italian Job” as those do a much better job of showing a “heist” movie. Or for that matter, check out “The Thomas Crown Affair” in which Brosnan plays almost the same character (and Rene Russo in Woody Harrelson’s part) but it’s a much more satisfying ride. Ok, lastly I will say that I was excited to see Chris Penn’s name in the credits; but for the life of me I couldn’t find him in the movie. The only time I saw him was in a deleted scene (he was playing a rabbi). Go figure…

Video: How does it look?

“After the Sunset” is shown in an anamorphic ratio of 2.35:1 which showcases the warm hues of the tropics. The colors are warm, bright and vivid and even the nighttime scenes look great. There is very little edge enhancement and a lack of artifacting that results in a very clear picture. I feel that a couple of the scenes looked a bit too bright and after watching the featurettes, I learned that several of the shots were done in CGI. Still, I really couldn’t find much wrong with the picture here, it’s consistent with a day and date release and New Line has done a fine job at presenting it.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio isn’t quite as strong as one might think, but it still packs a punch. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack has some moments, but for the most part the soundstage is limited to the front channels. The opening credits do have a somewhat “tropical” theme to them as does the movie itself. Some gunshots, thunderstorms and other effects do take advantage of all 5.1 channels, but this isn’t something that you’ll remember as having great sound. Quite frankly the soundtrack is on par with an action movie and though it’s good, it’s nothing that will light up your home entertainment system.

Supplements: What are the extras?

As far as supplements go, “After the Sunset” has a few but not too many. First is a feature commentary with Director Brett Ratner who gives a pretty good track. He talks of the shoot, the location (they loved it) and the challenge of doing a “heist” movie. Ratner seems to have planned out what he wanted to say and though a few lulls persist, it’s still a decent track. Next up is a featurette “Before, during and After the Sunset”. This is your standard offering which has some interviews with the cast and crew. It’s interesting, but nothing we haven’t seen dozens of times before. There are several deleted scenes with and without Director’s commentary but after watching them it’s clear to see why they were cut. I felt a few scenes that made the final cut should have been here as well, but hey – I’m not the editor of the movie. What I found most interesting was the “Interview with a Jewel Thief” in which Brett Ratner interviews a real life jewel thief. He tells of whom he’s ripped off (celebrities) and how he did it. Ratner seems pretty pleased with himself during the interview and tells him that he’ll now hide his safe in a new place. Lastly there’s a blooper reel which is pretty self-explanatory. “After the Sunset” was a disappointing movie for me, but that’s not to say that others won’t like it. The DVD is technically good (as most all of New Line’s are) though compared to some of their “Platinum Series” line – it’s rather lacking. No major complaints here…

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