'The Thomas Crown Affair' [Blu-ray]
(Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary, Ben Gazzara, Frankie Faison, et al / Blu ray / R / (1999) 2010 / MGM)
Overview: Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is now a man of industry who likes to indulge in a little high-priced art theft on the side; Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) is the insurance investigator determined to get on his tail in more ways than one. If you're thinking cat-and-mouse game, think again - it's more like cat vs. smarter cat!
Blu ray: Pierce Brosnan has this endearing sensuality that draws you to him, no matter what role he's playing. I'm a man and I can admit that without hesitation. That factor is really the only thing that saves `The Thomas Crown Affair' from being nothing more than passable entertainment. In other words, if it weren't for Brosnan I would have turned the film off almost as soon as it began, or at least the moment Russo walked onto the screen (more on her later). But no, I didn't. I watched the film in its entirety, and while it is not dreadful it is far less than worthy of your time and attention.
Now I have not seen the original, so I cannot compare the two (the reviews say that this one is superior, so I'm not in a rush to check out the original), but this `remake' definitely has the feel of a remake. You know, the way that remakes always feel (not always but most of the time) like they are missing something. This feels like it's missing something.
The film follows Thomas Crown, a wealthy businessman (millionaire at that) who is growing bored and so he decides to stage a robbery at the local museum. Catherine Banning is the insurance investigator hired to aid the police investigation. She immediately suspects Crown despite the department's disbelief, and so she targets him, and attempts to seduce him. Crown on the flip side is working her, from every angle in fact. In the end it boils down to a `does he love me, is he using me, should I rat him out, should I follow him' scenario, which quite frankly grows old very soon.
The initial robbery scene is expertly staged and choreographed; it's just a shame that it's the only remotely exciting scene in the film.
The acting is very hit or miss. Pierce is great, as usual. He is seductive and mysterious and enticing. He makes you want to know everything about him. Rene Russo is a major miss for me. From the second the walked onto the screen it was as if she was trying way too hard. I don't get the admiration for her performance, for it comes off rather cartoonish rather than grounded. She is very over-the-top and at times unbearable. Faye Dunaway (who starred in the original) is also very over-the-top. Her character is a mere cameo performance and so she is forgivably over-the-top, but nonetheless she is far from good. I am not a fan of Denis Leary, but he works his character well enough and doesn't take away from the film at all. He doesn't add anything either, but that's a different story.[AE] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but comes with no Special Features.