Generally speaking, I'm not a great fan of remakes and stepping into Hollywood legend Steve McQueen's shoes in what many considered to be a classic film would perhaps seem like an odd career move. However, Pierce Brosnan pulls it off with great style and I would go as far to say that although Pierce Brosnan may never reach the iconic status of Hollywood wild man Steve McQueen, this movie not only easily surpasses what was an over-rated original but it was also one of the best cinematic releases of 1999. 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John McTiernan and Pierce Brosnan's credit that (the then) 45 year old Russo was cast opposite Brosnan in the role originally made famous by Faye Dunaway, unlike the ridiculous and almost sickening pairing of Grandfather Sean Connery and the young enough to be his granddaughter Catherine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.