johnlink ranks THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1999)

This is a cat-and-mouse movie I remember liking very much, with Rene Russo as the cat and Pierce Brosnan as the mouse. A very rich mouse who likes to steal hundred million dollar paintings, but a mouse no less. Mix in direction by John McTiernan of DIE HARD fame, and this has a decent pedigree. SOME SPOILERS BELOW.

I watched THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1999) on 2.28.12. It was my third viewing of the film, and first in roughly a decade.

There are some confusing things about this movie in terms of logistics and motivation. I get that Brosnan’s Crown is motivated by the adrenaline more than the money. And I get why he chooses to make the switch he does at the end. But why didn’t he steal the painting he originally wanted in the first place? And how did he get the other painting in the end? Did I miss something? It seems like he wouldn’t have had an opportunity to do what he did.

This movie is fun despite its plot holes. In many ways this is a marriage of an erotic thriller with a chase movie. The scenes with the beautiful Rene Russo and the dashing Brosnan are steamy, even if the stakes never seem to be particularly high. Yes: jail is threatened. But Crown just feels untouchable to law enforcement. Russo appears more invested than Brosnan, who plays this similarly to the way he played Bond.

Again, I divert into a sort of negative take on the film. But it has enough charm and entertainment value to withstand what is wrong with it. The smartest move was to cast Denis Leary as a police detective. Odd that Leary would ground a film given his previously maniacal characters, but he feels ‘real’ in a world filled with billionaires and eccentrics. While not an earth-shattering performance, Leary is as good he’s ever been in this.

On a side note, I would give this a bonus point for the music, because much of it is very good. But the initial heist has five or six minutes of a terribly dated electric guitar underscore which almost earns this thing a negative point for whoever made the decision to keep it in. Instead, they balance out and zero bonus is given.

I do walk away wanting more, wanting a bigger pay off. They changed the ending very dramatically from the classic Steve McQueen version. I understand why, even if I feel like it is all way too easy. I guess I just wish it all felt more dangerous. Instead this is a fun and solid experience, but not a great one.






~ by johnlink00 on February 29, 2012.

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