The Thomas Crown Affair
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This sexy game of cat and mouse pits a millionaire who steals for thrills against a beautiful insurance agent who's torn between turning him in and joining him.
For the Hollywood remake rule, which dictates that an update of an older film be inferior to the original in almost every aspect, The Thomas Crown Affair stands as a glorious exception. The original 1968 film, starring a dapper Steve McQueen and a radiant Faye Dunaway, was a diverting pop confection of mod clothes and nifty break-ins, but not much more. John McTiernan's new version, though, cranks up the entertainment factor to mach speed, turning what was a languid flick into a high-adrenaline caper romance. Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is now a man of industry who likes to indulge in a little high-priced art theft on the side; Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) is the insurance investigator determined to get on his tail in more ways than one. If you're thinking cat-and-mouse game, think again--it's more like cat vs. smarter cat, as both the thief and the investigator try to outwit each other and nothing is off-limits, especially after they start a highly charged love affair that's a heated mix of business and pleasure.
What makes this Thomas Crown more enjoyable than its predecesor is McTiernan's attention to detail in both the set action pieces (no surprise from the man who helmed Die Hard with precision accuracy) and the developing romance, the witty and intelligent script by Leslie Dixon (she wrote the love scenes) and Kurt Wimmer (he wrote the action scenes), and, most of all, its two stunning leads (both over 40 to boot), combustible both in and out of bed. Brosnan, usually held prisoner in the James Bond straitjacket, lets loose with both a relaxed sensuality and a comic spirit he's rarely expressed before. The film, however, pretty much belongs to Russo, who doesn't just steal the spotlight, but bends it to her will. Beautiful, stylish, smart, self-possessed, incredibly sexy, she's practically a walking icon; it's no wonder Crown falls for her hook, line, and sinker. With Denis Leary as a police detective smitten with Russo, and Faye Dunaway in a throwaway but wholly enjoyable cameo as Brosnan's therapist. --Mark Englehart
- 8-Page Booklet
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Faye Dunaway played Russo's character in the original and had a cameo in this one. A cute touch.
I loved the acting, but I do enjoy Pierce Brosnan. Hewas as sophisticated and classy as his James Bone character. I thought Brosnan and Russo worked well together on screen with nice chemistry.
I liked this movie enough to own it. The movie sets up a good mental match game between the two which I thought they played out very nicely. I loved the ending and enjoyed the way it was done.
I am going to go off-topic for a second: I don't like it when every 5 seconds someone is cursing (The Heist, The Score, Heat, et al) - to me, if you have to curse you better be physically hurt - show a touch of sophistication if you are going to curse. My Drill Instructor in Basic Training cursed, but never used the same word in two consecutive sentences and you almost laughed at the same time you were intimidated. Off-topic anyhow, because there isn't any of that in this movie.
I enjoyed the original version of this movie, so I bought this one - very similar plots, and both versions are enjoyable to me.
For some the original TC Affair is regarded as superior. I'm old enough to know the original as a first run. Critics loved it because the era was stuffed with insufferable cheesy, hokey amateurish crap. By comparison with others of its time the original may have been a standout, but the original is an overrated film. Watch the new Thomas Crown with a significant other. You'll thank me.