Film: The Thomas Crown Affair

Cast includes: Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day), Rene Russo (Lethal Weapon 4), Denis Leary (Rescue Me), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair (1968))
Director: John McTiernan (Die Hard)
Genre: Crime caper/romance (1999), remake of the 1968 version with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway

In brief: In the first 15 minutes or so, we’re treated to a tightly choreographed elaborate robbery in progress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, alternating with scenes from a day in the life of a very stylish billionaire, Thomas Crown. Before going home, Crown stops by the museum and just happens to be in the right place at the right time to foil the robbery… while he also pinches a $100 million-dollar Monet. As cops run into the museum, Crown strolls out with the Monet in his briefcase.

With 4 of the robbers in custody, it’s only a matter of time before the detectives have the case wrapped up… except that, as Catherine Banning points out, “Seems like there are a couple of holes in your theory.” “I’m a little fuzzy on who you are.” Detective McCann is not so happy to have Catherine on the case. Hired by the insurance company to get the painting back, she’s sexy, smart and relentless. And in no time, she’s figured out how the robbery was done and who did it. “Oh, that’s good,” she purrs.

When Crown makes a loan to the museum of a Pissarro from his own collection, Catherine meets him. “Do we know each other?” he asks. “Not yet,” she answers as she introduces herself and tells him she’s a bounty hunter out to get the Monet. “When there’s this much at stake, I need to get them someone’s head.” “And whose head are you after?” Crown asks. “Yours.” “You think you’ll get me?” “Oh, I hope so,” she answers. Rather than scaring off her target, the challenge intrigues Thomas Crown, who enjoys life on the edge. Before the evening’s over, he invites her to dinner. And the high-stakes cat-and-mouse game is off to a good start. But it’s not always easy to know who’s the cat and who’s the mouse. And it’s not always easy to know if this is about the painting or about two worthy adversaries who are turned on by the adventure.

Steve McQueen fans may have a sentimental attachment to the 1968 original, but this version has a much more interesting plot. And the chemistry between the two main characters couldn’t be better. As a nod to the original, Faye Dunaway plays the part of Crown’s shrink, who has an uncanny ability to read him. This Thomas Crown is a smart, stylish and tightly crafted caper film, with intriguing and surprising plot twists that keep us guessing right to the very end.

popcorn rating

4 popped kernels

Popped kernels for being one of the best feel-good movies of all times. It's fun and interesting, with great plot twists. Excellent script, both in story development and word crafting. Pierce and Rene are perfect.

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