The Michigan Daily discovered in April 2005 that several articles written by arts editor Marshall W. Lee did not meet the newspaper’s standard of ethical journalism. Parts of these stories had been plagiarized from other news sources. The article below appears to contain plagiarism, and the Daily no longer stands by its content.
Is there anything sorrier than an action star past his prime? Slightly balding and a bit pot-bellied in his open shirt, ex-Bond Pierce Brosnan shuffles up to a sun-drenched tiki bar and scoffs at all the colorful cocktails. Through a thin, scraggly beard of gray whiskers, Brosnan orders a Jack Daniels on the rocks, growling at the bartender: “It doesn’t have a fancy name, but if it was good enough for Frank, it’s good enough for me.”
After making a rather profitable career of playing the charming, elegant gentleman rogue, it appears as though Brosnan is desperately trying here to cash in every last chip of cool, to drive every fancy sportscar and chomp every last cigar before he is forced by fed up filmgoers to retire his pistol for good. Set among the postcard vistas of Paradise Island in the Bahamas, hacktacular director Brett Ratner’s (“Rush Hour 2”) “After the Sunset” allows Brosnan to do just that, and the actor swaggers his way through this uninspired heist flick with all the energy he can muster.
The movie opens with Brosnan’s Max Burdett, a jewel thief extraordinaire with enough gadgets to make 007 jealous, “retiring” to the Caribbean with his inordinately hot girlfriend and accomplice Lola (Salma Hayek). Woody Harrelson plays Special Agent Stan Lloyd, a bumbling Fed who has been tailing his nemesis Burdett for years and believes that the old con’s relocation to the tropics is little more than a cover for his next score: the theft of a rare and valuable diamond on display aboard a cruise ship docked just off of Nassau. For the next 90 minutes, the two men attempt to outwit each other, even if it means crawling into the same bed and exchanging homophobic banter. The result is a knowingly preposterous throw-away thriller that is surprisingly devoid of action and suspense.
The sudden friendship between Max and Stan is a hard pill to swallow as it undermines the whole tireless, dedicated federal agent aesthetic of Harrelson’s character, but Stan and Max’s contrived common ground is positively pitch-perfect when compared to the thief’s inexplicable relationship with Lola. The total lack of chemistry between Brosnan and Hayek is vastly overcompensated for with extended make-out sessions and cringe-worthy innuendo. It felt at times as though Brosnan was really acting in an extended Viagra infomercial. Hayek’s character seems uncomfortable and unnatural as Max’s romantic partner and the actress is asked to do little more than strut and strip — which, in her defense, she does masterfully.
Dawdling and anti-climactic, “After the Sunset” is less an original thought than a hodgepodge of moments and characters thoughtlessly plundered from other, better films. Ratner and screenwriters Paul Zbyszewski and Craig Rosenberg owe a great deal of debt (and an apology) to several superior flicks: “Entrapment”, “The Big Bounce”, “Lethal Weapon III & IV” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” just to name a few. Viewers are suggested to rent one of those before shelling out $8.50 to see this tired rehash.
Rating: 1/2 star out of 5 stars