Sunday, July 22, 2007

After the Sunset

Review by Kam Williams
Headline: No Surprises in This Uninvolving Cat-and-Mouse Caper

Jewel thieves Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) and Lola Cirillo (Salma Hayek) quietly retired to Paradise Island in the Bahamas after successfully swiping two priceless baubles from a set of three gems known as the Napoleon Diamonds. The contented couple enjoy their ill-gotten gains at an exotic beachfront cottage where they reminisce about having pulled-off perfectly-planned heists which left them set for life.
Though they have never been tempted to abandon their idyllic oasis for another big score, an irresistible opportunity comes a-knockin' when the last Napoleon Diamond arrives in port aboard a highly-publicized "Diamond Cruise." However, also new to town is Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrelson), the frustrated FBI Agent who has been stalking Max and Lola for the past seven years.
Stan works closely, both literally and figuratively, with solicitous Sophie (Naomie Harris), the chocolicious detective assigned to look after the remaining Napoleon. Max and Lola, on the other hand, are soon in cahoots with an altruistic underworld kingpin (Don Cheadle) who wants the rare stone in order to alleviate the suffering of the island's impoverished, indigenous population.
As interesting as this intricate set-up might sound, its artless execution by Brett Rattner leaves a lot to be desired. This is particularly disappointing since he's the acclaimed director of the endlessly entertaining Rush Hour 1 and 2. But he must be paying more attention to his next film, Rush Hour 3, due out next August. Because by comparison to his other offerings, After the Sunset is more tired than inspired.
The insulting repartee is repeatedly witless, the jokes fall flat and the inane plot thins instead of thickens. The production substitutes cleavage for character development, scattering scads of scantily-clad, empty-headed models around who look like they'd wandered in off the set of a gangsta’ rap video. When not trading in titillation, the movie is given to a litany of homophobic "It's not what it looks like" jokes.
More like watching a neverending music video than a feature film.

Fair (1 star)
PG-13 for sex, expletives and action violence.
Running time: 100 minutes
Distributor: New Line

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