After The Sunset (2004)

(In theaters, November 2004) Let’s see: A caper comedy starring hot actors and taking place in a lush tropical paradise. That stuff can succeed on auto-pilot. Alas, that’s almost what director Brett Ratner does with After The Sunset, a good-enough film that nevertheless never tries for something more ambitious than mere adequacy. Oh, Salma Hayek has seldom been hotter (though there’s also plenty of good things to say about Naomie Harris as a policewoman with a Caribbean accent and pleasing curves) and the whole script moves forward with an impeccable amiability. There is a good rapport between the actors, and the lush cinematography is awe-inspiring. But the film starts falling apart when you look at the details of the script, which is so loose as to be inconsequential. Tons of plot holes are carelessly abandoned here and there, with unexplainable contrivances, inconsistent characters and dubious developments. Despite the suave presence of Pierce Brosnan as a master thief, this is nowhere near The Thomas Crown Affair. The conclusion is all in keeping with the film’s impact: Pleasing but hardly impressive, capping a film that will just do as a light diversion.

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