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 predecessor is McTiernan's attention to detail in both the set action pieces (no surprise from the man who helmed Die Hard with precision accuracy); 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. Denis Leary plays a police detective smitten with Russo and Faye Dunaway has a throwaway but wholly enjoyable cameo as Brosnan's therapist.--Mark Englehart, Amazon.com
The plot of the original movie has been given a total makeover. Whereas in the original 1968 version, Steve McQueen organised a $2 million bank robbery, in a very 60's blow against the system, Brosnan pulls off an art robbery single handed, walking out a museum with a Monet painting worth fifty times the amount. However, the essence of the original movie has been retained, and revolves around a tough-nosed female insurance investigator conducting an ambiguous love affair (Rene Russo) with millionaire playboy Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan), whilst at the same time trying to trap her seemingly uncatchable quarry.
Conceived as a star vehicle between Bond movies by Pierce Brosnan's very own Dreamtime Films as the perfect vehicle for his 007-buffed persona, the script underwent several rewrites, including ditching the script that later became the rival and disappointing Sean Connery/Catherine Zeta Jones movie 'Entrapment'. And whereas Steve McQueen was surprisingly entirely cast against type in the 1968 original, the role of rugged bored playboy Thomas Crown fits Brosnan to an absolute tee. It is also to Director John McTiernan and Pierce Brosnan's credit that (the then) 45 year old Russo was cast opposite Brosnan in the role originally made famous by Faye Dunaway, unlike the ridiculous and almost sickening pairing of Grandfather Sean Connery and the young enough to be his granddaughter Catherine Zeta Jones in rival production 'Entrapment'. Russo looks wonderful for her age and the sexual chemistry between her and Brosnan is excellent. As for John McTiernan (the top notch action Director behind such successful movies as Die Hard, Predator and The Hunt For Red October, Die Hard With A Vengeance) he doesn't try to copy the original in any way shape or form and thankfully avoids the split screen gimmickery of the original and instead replaces it with a much more glossy, snappy and modern style perfect for the movie.
All in all this is an excellent caper movie with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and keep you happy. Well worth watching and well worth owning, this is one of the first titles I bought on DVD and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.
Brosnan takes his "Remington Steele" persona and shades it darker and more serious, the end result being the smart and dangerous Thomas Crown, a guy who needs to play this game of chess to feel alive. But when the beautiful Russo begins to match him knight for knight he becomes intrigued with her, the prize no longer being the painting, but the heart. Russo's Catherine is mature, intelligent, and so sexy she burns up the screen.
Denis Leary has a nice turn as the cop who realizes Catherine may be in over her head with Crown and in danger of losing everything. Faye Dunaway, who starred with the wonderful Steve McQueen in the origional film, portrays a psychiatrist trying to get at Crown's psyche and brings a lovely echo of the former film with her.
Brosnan produced this film as well and though he has updated the bank robbery of the origional to art theft he has paid homage to it by using "The Windmills of Your Mind" from the origional score. This is not your typical movie fare but after seeing it you'll wish it were. It is classy, intelligent and sexy. Why it got ignored around Oscar time is beyond my comprehension. It is smartly written and stylishly filmed. When the passion between Catherine and Crown turns to love for Russo the possibility of her being destroyed by Brosnan adds tension and melancholy to the final moments of this film.
This terrific film is like dining out with expensive wine and lobster in lavish surroundings. So pull up a chair and enjoy a night out to remember.....
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