New Line Home Cinema presents
After the Sunset (2004)
Agent Stanley Lloyd: It's okay to be happy to see me. Just because you're English doesn't mean you need to hide your emotions.
Max Burdett: I'm Irish. We let people know how we feel. Now f*** off.- Woody Harrelson, Pierce Brosnan
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomie Harris
Other Stars: Chris Penn, Troy Garity, Obba Babatunde, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Rex Linn, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, Gary Payton, Paul Benedict
Director: Brett Ratner
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexuality, violence, language
Run Time: 01h:37m:20s
Release Date: 2005-03-29
DVD ReviewAfter the Sunset begins with an elaborate heist, in which Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) snags a priceless jewel from his longtime nemesis, FBI Agent Stanley Lloyd (Woody Harrelson). Assisted by his beautiful lover, Lola (Salma Hayek), Max successfully lifts another diamond by taking control over Stan's car via remote control. If you're willing to buy into such a preposterous device, then you should have a fun time watching this movie.
Personally, I'm a sucker for heist movies—especially ones starring Pierce Brosnan—and this is no exception. However, this really isn't much of a heist film. Rather, it's more or less a light comedy about a jewel thief disgruntled about retirement. Lola is ready to hang up her spurs, bringing Max with her down to the Bahamas as they enjoy the good life. But the monotony of lobster, beautiful beaches, and stunning sunsets wears on Max. Even worse, Stan comes down to the Bahamas as well because the third and last Napoleon diamond will be on a cruise ship docked in the bay for one week.
Stan doesn't buy into Max's "retirement" and starts an investigation with the help of local police officer Sophie (Naomie Harris). Meanwhile the island's resident gangster, Henri Mooré (Don Cheadle), wants Max to steal the diamond for him. Between the opportunity for one last big score, Henri's pressures, and Lola's insistence on turning a new leaf, Max has to play his hand carefully as he makes his next move—but what will it be? Most likely everybody will have a good guess as to how things turn out, but there are some twists and turns along the way to make the ride worth your while.
Considering that After the Sunset comes from director Brett Ratner, it's surprisingly relaxed in its pacing. His direction adds a charm to the story that a more action-oriented approach would drown out. At times things may be a bit slow and preposterous (really, how many master jewel thieves happen to retire to an area where Napoleon's diamonds visits?), but it's enjoyable nonetheless. There aren't any elaborate fight scenes or big shoot-outs; rather, the movie is more of a character-oriented piece. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing profound, just a welcome change of pace in light of Ratner's other work. The cinematography by Dante Spinotti seems to be locked in perpetual magic hour, making for an aesthetically pleasing visual experience even if it's a view of island life that can exist only in the movies.
Speaking of aesthetically pleasing views, Salma Hayek basically spends all her screen time wearing a bikini and trying to have sex with Max. In terms of character development, Lola receives none—but, then again, who really cares? The most surprising element of the movie is the chemistry between Brosnan and Harrelson. They have distinctive personas that mesh well with one another, making the struggle between Max and Stan more of a sibling rivalry that creates a lot of comedic moments. Whether they're referencing To Catch a Thief or experiencing their own version of Jaws out on the ocean, the two men work well together and are the true gems of this movie.
After the Sunset isn't anything special, to be sure. But it's a nice formula that works well when performed by the right talent. The cast and crew meet that quota, so make some popcorn, sit down, and suspend your disbelief.
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-
|Aspect Ratio||2.35:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is fantastic, without a single noticeable flaw. Contrast is solid, blacks are rich, colors are vivid, skin tones are accurate, and detail is sharp. It doesn't have a lot of depth, but that could be a result of the source material. Fantastic work.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is an engaging listen, with lots of rear-channel activity. The highlight of the mix comes when Stand and Max go fishing, with lots of phantom imagining and directionality to make a fun listen. Sound separation is handled well and never feels to gimmicky. At times the music seems too juiced up and borders on drowning out the sound effects and dialogue, but otherwise it's a solid piece of work. There's also a Dolby 2.0 mix.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Monster-in-Law, Wedding Crashers
2 TV Spots/Teasers
15 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Beau Flynn, Mark, Helfrich, Brett Ratner
- Blooper Real—a clip show of gags performed on the set.
- Charlie Rose Show Interview—features Pierce Brosnan, Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek, and Brett Ratner.
- Interview With a Jewel Thief—Brett Ratner interviews real life jewel thief, Bill Mason.
The three men unite again for a commentary on the feature. Ratner's voice is horse from laryngitis, but they pull together to point out little factoids and anecdotes that are interesting. At times they're too congratulatory, but for the most part it's a nice listen.
There's also a Blooper Real (04m:51s) that is primarily unfunny, since it's mostly a montage of actors flubbing their lines until the very end, when Woody Harrelson bares his...well, you just have to see it, I guess. Additionally, the theatrical trailer is shown in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1 as well. There are also two TV spots and preview trailers for New Line's upcoming releases Monster-in-Law and Wedding Crashers. Judging by the trailer, Wedding Crashers should be another hit comedy for Vince Vaughn.
The highlight of the extras is the feature-length documentary, Before, During, and After the Sunset (01h:10m:19s). It chronicles the pre-production, production, and premiere in thorough detail. A lot of time is spent showing Ratner playing pranks on his actors, but there's a great deal of information about the pressures of making a major Hollywood motion picture. Some behind-the-scenes tricks are revealed as well, making this a definite must for those interest in the filmmaking process. There's also a featurette called Visual Effects Comparison (03m:18s), narrated by Mark Helfrich as he shows the before-and-after shots where digital touch-ups were used.
Finally, a pair of interviews are also included on this set. The Charlie Rose Show interview with Ratner, Brosnan, Hayek, and Harrelson (18m:24s) is a roundtable discussion about the fun of making the movie. Nothing of substance is touched upon here, so it's really a fluff piece. Harrelson only gets about one word in during the interview, so it's a wonder why he's there at all. The second one, Interview With a Jewel Thief (08m:09s), is conducted by Brett Ratner with one of the world's most successful diamond heister, Bill Mason. It's an interesting look into the psyche of a thief and his story could make for a good movie when his autobiography finally gets realized.
Extras Grade: B+
Final CommentsIt's not something Hitchcock would be proud of, but After the Sunset is a fun movie that delivers on what it plans to accomplish. The audio and video transfers are first rate, with a wealth of extras to sweeten the deal.
Nate Meyers 2005-03-29