The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) / Thriller-Romance
MPAA Rated: R for some sexuality and language
Running Time: 113 min.
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary, Frankie Faison, Faye Dunaway
Director: John McTiernan
Screenplay: Leslie Dixon, Kurt Wimmer
Review published August 8, 1999
Wealthy billionaire playboy Thomas Crown (Brosnan, Tomorrow Never Dies) devises a plan whereby he steals a Monet painting values at over $100 million. An insurance agent (Russo, Lethal Weapon 4) would much rather get the painting back rather than pay the $100 million and is sure that Crown is the culprit. She seduces Crown but soon gets too close and finds herself falling for him. Now trust becomes an issue as the cat and mouse game causes complications in the relationship.
This remake of the 1968 classic sports higher production values but is inferior in almost every other respect. Brosnan does an adequate job, though his ability to carry a non-James Bond film is still questionable. Russo is miscast as the sexy agent out to seduce him to get the painting back.
The original was not a great film, but achieved most of its charm through stylish music and camerawork rather than a compelling story. While director McTiernan (The 13th Warrior, Die Hard with a Vengeance) does a good job directing, the subject matter still never succeeds in inspiring excitement to any degree. A bland idea for a story combined with a weak cast adds up to a rather tepid thriller. Watch the original instead.
©1999 Vince Leo