After the Sunset

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After the Sunset
International poster
Directed by Brett Ratner
Produced by Beau Flynn
Jay Stern
Tripp Vinson
Screenplay by Paul Zbyszewski
Craig Rosenberg
Story by Paul Zbyszewski
Starring Pierce Brosnan
Salma Hayek
Woody Harrelson
Don Cheadle
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Dante Spinotti
Edited by Mark Helfrich
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • November 12, 2004 (2004-11-12)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $59 million
Box office $61,347,797

After the Sunset is a 2004 action comedy film starring Pierce Brosnan as Max Burdett, a master thief caught in a cat-and-mouse game with FBI agent Stan Lloyd, played by Woody Harrelson. The film was directed by Brett Ratner and shot in the Bahamas.


After the Sunset begins with master thief Max Burdett (Pierce Brosnan) and his beautiful accomplice, Lola Cirillo (Salma Hayek), stealing the second of three famous diamonds, known as the Napoleon diamonds, from FBI Agent Stanley P. Lloyd (Woody Harrelson). But Lloyd shoots Max before passing out from being gassed by the thieves. Max survives and tells Lola to get the diamond. She does, leaving in its place the one-dollar bill that she had received as a tip for washing the agents' windshield (while in disguise). Max and Lola then fly to Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Their financial future is set, their career in crime a thing of the past. However, Agent Lloyd refuses to believe that their retreat into domesticity is genuine. After six months, Lloyd shows up, breaks into Max's house, and starts searching for evidence; he finds, and takes, the bullet he shot Max with. Max arrives and points a gun at him while he is relaxing, prompting Lloyd to draw his. They lower their guns and Lloyd accuses Burdett of hiding out in the same place where a cruise ship is displaying the final Napoleon diamond -- the only one he hasn't already stolen. He thinks the two are planning to lift the third Napoleon diamond, and complete the set. Max denies this and Lloyd leaves with a movie Max thinks he will learn something from. Lola at first suspects Max is getting ready for another job, but he convinces her that he isn't. When she discovers the bullet is gone, she hires two masseuses to successfully retrieve it.

Burdett unwittingly turns the tables and befriends the frustrated detective Lloyd, showing him the pleasures that Paradise Island has to offer, even paying for the most expensive suite, the bridge suite, for as long as Lloyd is there. Lloyd, out of his element, adapts quickly to the easy-going Caribbean lifestyle. Despite his pleas of innocence, Burdett's curiosity gets the better of him and he starts casing the ship. However, not only does Lloyd suspect that he is ready for ‘one more’ job, so does the local thug, Henri Mooré (Don Cheadle) whose bodyguard threatens Burdett to give him a ride to his boss', where he tries to get him to steal the diamond for him so he can extend his humanitarian business.

Burdett, still wanting the diamond for himself, pretends to work with Mooré, and gives him a fake plan as to how he would steal the diamond (which he earlier related to Stan). Stan however has teamed up with local police constable Sophie (Naomie Harris) to catch Burdett, and tails him to Junkanoo, a local parade, where Max loses him, warning that he shouldn't tail so closely before he is hit in the face by a tuba player swinging his tuba by Max's request. Lola kicks Max out after he breaks his promise to spend their first sunset on her new deck she had been working on and after she finds out he lied about writing his vows to her. Max is forced to bunk with Stan, and they share their thoughts about each other's lives. The next morning, the authorities and Sophie discover them, revealing that Stan's FBI license is suspended.

Later, while eating breakfast, the two come up with a plan to get Sophie and Lola back, involving a scuba diving trip (the scuba diving part Lloyd was unaware of). Mooré's man prepares to attempt to steal the Napoleon diamond, providing a diversion for Burdett to steal it himself. He switches place with an accomplice. Lola later discovers this and cuts off Stan's air supply to keep him from learning it. Meanwhile Henri's man is caught and arrested and Max steals the diamond. He then returns and saves Stan before he dies. On land, Sophie gets the call about the diamond being stolen. Sophie searches Max, but finds nothing. Stan and she angrily leave, while Lola prepares to leave Max. However, she is stopped by Mooré, who threatens to kill her if Max does not tell him where the diamond is. Fortunately, Stan arrives and shoots Mooré twice, killing him. Lola is nevertheless unfazed, and leaves Max anyway. After spending the night alone in their home, Max realizes he wants her back, and catches her just before she leaves, promising her she is his only jewel from then on. He then proposes with "the first diamond I ever bought" in his words. She accepts on the condition that she gets the receipt.

The next day, Max is met by Stan while celebrating, who tells him he was never drunk the night Burdett had to bunk with him, and details how he let Max do all the work while he later recovered the diamond. Max concedes that his nemesis has won this time, and is simply happy to live out his life with and watch sunsets with Lola. However, he has fun with Stan when he tries to leave by remote controlling his car again, promising Lola it is the last time.


The film also features several cameos, including Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Chris Penn, Phil Jackson, Jeff Garlin, Dyan Cannon, Edward Norton and Shaquille O'Neal as themselves.


Paul Zbyszewski's original screenplay for After the Sunset was discovered by producers Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson, both known for producing movies such as Tigerland (2000) and Requiem for a Dream (2000). The script was purchased by New Line Cinema and the producers hired Australian screenwriter Craig Rosenberg to create a re-write. Both the studio and the producers agreed that their first choice for the role of master thief Max Burdett was Pierce Brosnan.[1] Salma Hayek, Oscar-nominated for her role in Frida (2002), was the next to join the cast.[2]

Next to join the cast was director Brett Ratner.[3] The film had originally been scheduled to be directed by John Stockwell but Stockwell dropped out due to creative differences.[4] Talking about joining the movie, Ratner said: "I love caper films. There are so many great films in this genre, but what makes After the Sunset different is that it's a heist movie that has a combination of great relationships, heart and comedy."

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan were both offered to film cameos as American police officers (a nod to the Rush Hour series which Brett Ratner also directed) but turned them down.

With the two leads set, Woody Harrelson was cast in the role of Burdett’s nemesis, FBI agent Stanley Lloyd.[5] Harrelson said during promotion: "When this movie came along, I loved it right away." Don Cheadle's casting marked a third collaboration with Ratner, following The Family Man (2000) and Rush Hour 2 (2001). The role of Sophie, the Bahamian cop, was the next role to be cast. British actress Naomie Harris landed the role.[6]

With the majority of the script set on an island in the Caribbean, the filmmakers decided to shoot in The Bahamas, Basing their production out of Kerzner International's Atlantis resort in Nassau, cast and crew flew in from Los Angeles, Miami and New York City to commence filming.


After the Sunset was generally panned by critics and has a 19% approval rating based on 134 reviews from critics at the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes,[7] with the critical consensus "A slick but bland thriller." At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a rating of 38/100 based on 32 reviews.[8]

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #3 in the North American box office, earning $11,100,392 in its opening weekend, with its widest release in 2,819 theaters. It grossed $28,331,233 domestically and $33,016,564 in international markets, adding up to a worldwide gross of $61,347,797.[9]


  1. ^ "NL catches Brosnan for 'Sunset' sail". The Hollywood Reporter (subscription only). 2003-03-26. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  2. ^ "Salma Hayek Sits in Sunset with Pierce Brosnan". Variety. 2003-07-03. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  3. ^ Rowe, Vincent (2003-08-11). "Brett Ratner Sails to Sunset". Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  4. ^ "Brett Ratner Goes in After the Sunset". 2003-08-05. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  5. ^ " Woody Harrelson a Nemesis After the Sunset". ComingSoon,net. 2003-07-23. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  6. ^ "Harris sailing into Sunset with New Line". The Hollywood Reporter (subscription only). 2003-10-03. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  7. ^ "After the Sunset at". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 19, 2008. 
  8. ^ "After the Sunset". MetaCritic. Retrieved December 19, 2008. 
  9. ^ "After the Sunset (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 

External links[edit]