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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.78%
Worth A Look35.64%
Average: 24.75%
Pretty Bad: 8.91%
Total Crap: 8.91%

8 reviews, 53 user ratings

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Thomas Crown Affair, The (1999)
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by Ryan Arthur

"It's the Bond Entrapment!"
2 stars

High-tech gadgets? Check. Romantic subplot? Check. Debonair leading man? Check. Hottie-as-foil? Check? Seen it all before? Check.

Thomas Crown. Millionaire playboy. He's got all the toys, loads of cash, time to spare. He's Bruce Wayne, baby. Except for one thing: he's not the Bat, he's the bad guy.

See, Crown (Pierce Brosnan) steals stuff. For no other particular reason than to prove that he can. Perhaps to prove it to the world, perhaps to prove it to himself. Perhaps just for shits and giggles. Who can say? He goes after a $100 million dollar Monet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in broad frickin' daylight. Yep, he's cool. In doing all of this, not only does he tick off a cop (Denis Leary), he catches the eye of insurance investigator Catherine Banning (Rene Russo). She wants the painting back (she's an insurance investigator - it's her job, man), and she's got just enough to know that Crown did it, she just can't prove it. Yet. Crown knows she knows. Moreso, he's kinda smitten by her. So you've got a crime, plus the sexual tension that exists between the leads, and the interaction between them as they move to the endgame. There's your cat and mouse.

It'd all be terribly interesting had it not been done before. And done better.

The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of the 1968 Norman Jewison flick with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. What's different about the two? Well, Faye and Stevie had a hell of a lot more chemistry. They smoldered, you know? Brosnan and Russo? They try. I give them that. Rene bares all. Hello, Rene's breasteses. Brosnan tries turning on the Bond Charm. Hello, Rene's breasteses.

Sorry, lost my focus. Anyway, in contrast to its predecessor, this flick focuses on the heist, and for good reason. The caper is the catalyst: the theft of the painting and the twists and turns that it takes after the heist is what drives the characters forward. Oh, sure there's the lure of seeing Brosnan and Russo bump uglies, but she wants the painting back, he doesn't want to give it to her (well, he wants to give IT to her, but, you know...). That she ends up falling in love is merely the added bonus. No, this is about the crime. As I said, he does it because he can, and it becomes a neat little game for him. He doesn't, you know, need a $100 million dollar painting, because after all, he's rich; it turns into a sort of slow seduction of the Russo character. He essentially gets her permission to steal it. All the maindgames help to postpone the inevitable shagging.

The problem lies in the fact that the caper portion of the movie was done better in the opening minutes of Entrapment, and the sexual tension was done better in the original Thomas Crown Affair. Oh sure, Crown woos Banning with trips to a Carribean villa, trips and dinners and gifts, but you can't shake the fact that he's, well...Bond. He's suave, he's sophisticated, he gets what he wants. So there's not much doubt about what's gonna happen. I guess it's not really Brosnan's fault that he's typecast, but still, you'd think he'd take it off autopilot and turn it up a notch, give it a different spin.

Russo seems a little detached. Oh, she's game for just about anything, otherwise she wouldn't be showing the rack. But she lacks the oomph she had in In The Line Of Fire or even Tin Cup. I don't mind that she's showing the nips, but that's not enough to get me to dig the character. Leary does ok, but he's shunted to the background while Brosnan and Russo work their mojo.

As for the look of the film, you can tell it's a John McTiernan movie just by looking at it, but the gadgets and trickery involved in the heist has all been seen. It's something that should be neat to watch, but it's really ho-hum. It moves the plot forward, but that's it. The plot advancement could've been handled by...I don't know...better writing? I could skip all the high tech crap if you'd give me a meaty ol' story to sink my teeth into. It didn't help that this movie followed the eeriely similar Entrapment by abour four months, but the screenwriters had to know there wasn't a hell of a lot there to begin with. There's nothing to make me want to care about the characters and whether they end up together. It's just two characters going through the motions, playing the game. The end result, for them, is a given. It's getting there that's important.

What bothers me is that there's no fire, no passion, in getting there. It's strictly paint-by-numbers, get from one point to another with a possible swerve thrown in for good measure, but still getting there. You never really think that the guy and the girl won't end up together. You never really think he'll go to jail. When there's nothing to hook you, nothing to keep you enthralled, why keep watching? Oh yeah, Reme Russo shows me her boobies. Right.

It's not that The Thomas Crown Affair is a bad movie, but it's so set in following the formula that you can't help be bored by it. It's not a good movie, either, for all of it's lush locations and the clever heist, and it really should be. It's a safe movie. You can watch it and not worry about having to become emotionally invested in the characters or the action.

But at the same time, you'll watch it and not become emotionally invested in the characters or the action. That's not something that I want as a moviegoer. I want the film to draw me in. The Thomas Crown Affair simply can't - or won't - do that. And as much as I want to like the movie, that's exactly why I can't.

Remarkably unmemorable and underwhelming, and pretty easily forgotten within minutes. There's nothing of value or substance. Not even Russo's niblets. Well, maybe those.

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originally posted: 03/06/01 15:38:37
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User Comments

9/12/17 morris campbell the boring affair is more like it 1 stars
11/30/15 jamie loved this movie,sexy,rich yet approachable, renee's got great boobs, piece is luscious 5 stars
2/03/06 Anthony Feor Peirce does it again 4 stars
11/24/05 noops gr8 film frm gr8 actor.nice climax...good romance 2... 4 stars
2/27/05 mike bad 1 stars
12/23/03 tatum Fun, romantic, everything the original was not 5 stars
12/11/03 Agent Sands A wee bit better acting/filmmaking-wise, but the certain heistfilm rules remain broken. 3 stars
11/27/03 John elegant, romantic and classy! phenomenal direction and eclectic musical score 5 stars
10/05/03 John Bale Seldom does a remake exceed the original, this does. Brosnan excells, Russo shows tits. 4 stars
5/27/03 Edmund Armor Smart, sexy, beautifully shot, visually witty 5 stars
3/25/03 Jack Sommersby Entertaining and sexy. The two stars are luminous, and the editing is masterfully tricky. 4 stars
9/15/02 Zefram Mann I honestly didn't want to like this movie, but I did. 5 stars
8/10/02 R.W. Welch Not bad but falls well short of the McQueen rendition. 3 stars
5/12/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne (no fan or usually obnoxious Renee Russo) Russo this time just chugs kaopectate & twirls buttocks. Inoffensive but silly. 3 stars
4/28/02 Geebo Very clever 5 stars
4/09/02 spacecowboy smooooth 4 stars
4/04/02 Edfink Lombardo What was McTiernan thinking? Lacked pace and likeable characters, among other things... 2 stars
3/05/02 Alan Smithee Other than seeing the wonderful Ms. Russo nude, this movie is a bore. 2 stars
2/21/02 Xaver Interesting story, but nothing too exciting. 3 stars
10/10/01 jawsboy good little flick! one of McT's best along with Predator, die hard, die hard 3, & THFRO. 4 stars
8/10/01 Mr. Hat Better than the old one. 3 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk I enjoyed seeing Russo's boobies...besides that it was dragging. 3 stars
7/16/01 bobbuttons i thought it was pretty good too. i loved the bowler hats 4 stars
7/12/01 JLH I thought it was great. Just different enough from the original. Soundtrack was good too. 5 stars
2/16/01 Lisa I Love this movie. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. 5 stars
1/16/01 Shara If my mom were as hot as Rene, I don't think I would mind the dress... 5 stars
1/13/01 Avenger Girl Pretentious boring seppo crap trying to be classy and failing. 1 stars
1/06/01 Connoisseur only her tits are 4 stars
12/09/00 Carly Lees This movie is witty, full of spunk, and all out AWESOME! 5 stars
10/06/00 Fishsticks Not bad. Smart dialogue, story good, if predicable in a few places it mainly avoids it 4 stars
9/27/00 mephetic A good, smart, and very funny movie. But it'd be a hell of a lot better if there were more 3 stars
5/03/00 Matt Sabian Bloody Brilliant, worth every look 5 stars
5/01/00 Tom Rees Consumed my attention while recovering from minor surgery!!!!! 4 stars
4/25/00 Danny Sykes Brilliant! Nothing Better! 5 stars
4/24/00 Trina Barnard Love everything about it 5 stars
4/08/00 Bruce Rene does have nice nipples 4 stars
3/21/00 Wafer pretty good flick and a great ending 4 stars
1/26/00 The Bomb 69 pretty standard hollywood fluff 3 stars
1/10/00 Will Russo looked like utter shit in this movie. Aside from that it was just silly. 2 stars
11/13/99 Daniel I've never seen the original and I thought Brosnan and Russo were excellent. 5 stars
10/27/99 pipeman overrated fluff 3 stars
10/11/99 Ben Ryan Great fun storyline, Rene and Pierce were excellent. Stuck on the nipples too here! 4 stars
10/07/99 Eran entertaining movie that gives the viewer a good time 4 stars
9/06/99 Matthew Bartley A good film.Not exactly Out Of Sight but decent nevertheless 3 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread Typical hollywood ending, but decent movie 3 stars
8/26/99 Steven Loved the ending and Rene's Nipples. 4 stars
8/24/99 Pierce Lanson Rene Russo is THE sexiest woman on the big screen right now!! 4 stars
8/22/99 Gini Charming and fun. Not a classic, but still a good way to spend an evening. 4 stars
8/17/99 Rick Pierce Brosnan is no Steve McQueen, but Rene Russo is more than Faye Dunaway. 3 stars
8/14/99 JimBob Good acting,Tits and Ass,good entertainment,did Rene use a body double?Pierce? 4 stars
8/14/99 Bushman Not the best film of the year but one of the most entertaining. 5 stars
8/12/99 Goofus Anyone who has seen the original could not possibly give this one five stars. Or even four. 3 stars
8/11/99 portia smith brilliant film 5 stars
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  06-Aug-1999 (R)



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