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The Thomas Crown Affair

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Thomas Crown Affair

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo
Director: John McTiernan
Rated: R
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: August 1999
Genres: Action, Thriller

*Also starring: Dennis Leary, Faye Dunaway

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Pierce Brosnan doesn't even attempt to be Steve McQueen in this re-make of Norman Jewison's "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968). Brosnan's bored billionaire playboy, the proverbial man who has everything, is quite different. He's suave, cool and polished, yet eager for a challenge, even an emotional distraction, as he tells his psychiatrist, played by Faye Dunaway (not so coincidentally, the co-star of the original version). The dapper Mr. Crown has just pulled off an extraordinary theft of a $100 million Monet from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. But an insurance investigator - that's Rene Russo - knows he did it, and she's equally sleek, elegant and provocative. They cleverly taunt, torment, and tease each other relentlessly - to the delight of the audience and chagrin of the Manhattan detective (Denis Leary) assigned to the case. The issue, of course, is trust - and neither of them does. The intelligent, if occasionally implausible screenplay by Leslie Dixon and Kurt Wimmer, based on Alan R. Trustman's story, and the taut direction by John McTiernan focuses far less on the caper aspect and concentrates, instead, on the sexy, romantic entanglement that develops. Not that there aren't surprises. In fact, the intriguing plot twists and turns so much that you're bound to surprised more than once. It's too bad, however, that more time wasn't spent on developing the edgy, intriguing characters. They're too shallow, too glossy and superficial. Sting performs the Oscar-winning song, "The Windmills of Your Mind" by Michel Legrand, and Bill Conti's score is excellent. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Thomas Crown Affair" is a sharp, stylish, slick 7. It's fanciful good fun.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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