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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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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.
Thomas Crown, is a man who has it all. He's a smart, sophisticated Wall Street financier, worth multi-billions of dollars. He owns his own holding company, a New York skyscraper, and a gorgeous town house filled with art treasures. He has everything a man could ask for...except a challenge in life. He's bored. And he's always on the lookout for the ultimate thrill...
In order to find that greatest of all thrills, he enlists a little help from a trio of Eastern European accomplices and pulls off a daring daytime theft of a priceless painting from a New York art museum.
Enter Catherine Banning, an insurance investigator for "a couple of guys from Zurich who don't want to just write a 100 million dollar check" for the stolen painting. She's just as smart, sophisticated, and savvy as Crown, and equally eager for the next great challenge, the ultimate thrill. She immediately suspects that Crown is the mastermind behind the theft, and she will stop at nothing to get that painting back...including seducing her prime suspect. Soon, Crown and Banning find themselves on a collision course of sex, suspicion, ambition, jealousy, and betrayal...
...I won't give away any more of the plot. It is sufficient to say that the movie takes many a suspenseful and enjoyable twist and turn on its way to a surprisingly unpredictable outcome.
Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of "The Thomas Crown Affair." In fact, I actually thought it was better than the 1968 McQueen/Dunaway version. It is a taut, suspenseful film tinged with humor and wit The acting is good throughout. Renee Russo dominates the film with her splendid performance as the canny and sensual insurance investigator. Pierce Brosnan's portrayal of Thomas Crown is good, but certainly less intense and satisfying than Russo's characterization of Banning. The chemistry between Russo and Brosnan is enhanced by sharp, witty dialogue and the highly sensual scenes shared by these two attractive actors. However, their on-screen chemistry tended to suffer on a few occasions, when Brosnan seemed almost passive next to Russo. Denis Leary was excellent in his role as the highly intelligent and sensitive police detective Mike McCann, as was Faye Dunaway in her cameo appearance as Thomas Crown's therapist.
At the end of an evening of movie watching, with the ending credits of 1999's "The Thomas Crown Affair" beginning to roll, I had to admit: my wife had really picked out a very good movie this time! First class entertainment all the way!