Although After the Sunset has a lot of good elements going for it, the audience is still left in the dark about the motivations behind the characters.
The films stars Pierce Brosnan as master thief Max Burdett and Salma Hayek as his beautiful cohort Lola Cirillo. The two have finished their criminal careers by stealing two of the famed and flawless Napoleon diamonds and have retired to an island paradise.
But trouble shows up in the form of the FBI agent who has been following them. Stanley Lloyd (Woody Harrelson) doesn't believe the pair really retired, and a third Napoleon diamond is on display on a cruise ship docked at the island.
What ensues is a confusing mess, as everyone rushes to get to the diamond first. Burdett isn't the only one who wants the diamond. Gangster Henri Moree (Don Cheadle) wants it so he can help out islanders by improving infrastructure - his version of which includes casinos, military centres and brothels.
The film has some cleverly entertaining moments. Burdett and Cirillo have been in their paradise for a long time, shown through an endless round of dinner partners who always ask what Burdett does for a living. His answers vary from pest control to owning Third World sweatshops. His face grows progressively bored. Brosnan is at least believable as a thief who tries to forget the man of theft, but inevitably can't.
Hayek is consistently vacuous. Her character's primary concern is enjoying her new life, and making sure Burdett doesn't return to his bad-boy behaviour. Cirillo is pining for a simple life involving watching sunsets on the deck she built. It's never understood why she got involved with theft if she despises it so much.
Naomie Harris does well as the snotty, tough but good-hearted local cop Lloyd teams up with.Brosnan and Harrelson play off each other's characters well and the scenes between the two are the most entertaining to watch. The exchanges between the hunter and the hunted are telling - the problem is figuring out who is hunting.
If all of this sounds familiar, it's because there is nothing particularly unique about the film. It's a paint-by-numbers piece, full of borrowed themes, gadgetry, ideas and jokes. The characters are typical, but not unlikable, and they aren't meant to be anything but glamorous.
At one point in the movie, Lloyd tells Burdett there are two types of people in the world, those who can watch sunsets, and those who can't. I would say there are people who can watch this film and those who can't. Although the film isn't particularly clever or original, it's still entertaining - as a movie should be.