"The Thomas Crown Affair"
Review written by: Alex Sandell

thomas.jpg (11886 bytes)
Two naked rich people kissing.

What's the story?

Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) is a rich playboy (imagine JFK Jr., only breathing) who has run out of challenges.  He can buy anything he wants, have any woman he desires, but all that appeals to him is what he can't have, or will have a hard time getting; a priceless Monet and the girl who arrives to bust him for stealing it (Rene Russo). 

Catherine Banning (Russo) is a female investigator who hunts down thieves who only steal the finer things in life.  She busts them, and receives a cut of the money she saved the insurance company by retrieving the stolen item for them.  She can basically seduce any man that she wants (then again, most women can), and bust any other, but the game has grown dull.  The men were are all too easy, and the prize was never enough.  She wants something more, and with the mysterious Thomas Crown, she seems to have found it. 

Can the two be romantically involved, without one of them messing up?  Can Crown hide his motives from Banning's penetrating glare?  Can Banning disguise her true feelings for Crown, as he pulls her farther and farther away from bringing him to justice?  Will Denis Leary be stuck as a smart-ass character actor the rest of his life?  Only time will tell . . .

So how is it? (Get to the point, already)

Thomas Crown is brilliantly filmed.  I don't usually mention the technical aspects of a motion picture, much less start out my review by mentioning them, but this movie deserves the credit.  Great detail is given to the costumes, colors, sets, direction and cinematography.  The camera plays with the audience nearly as much as the actors, and, by the end, this film had me wishing I was a millionaire, due to the visuals, alone (the beach house Crown owns is a piece of Heaven).  It's almost like a Stanley Kubrick film, on speed.  Yet, if you read the credits, you'll find that what it really is, is a John McTiernan (Die Hard, Die Hard With a Vengeance, Hunt For Red October, Predator) film on barbiturates.

I was amazed McTiernan pulled this thing off.  It is a huge departure from his other work, and is better than the majority of it.  It's a unique film, in its own right, which should be accredited as much to McTiernan's subdued directing as it is to Peter Doyle's debut screenplay (which is an adaptation of the 1968 movie of the same name).  Of course you can see Entrapment, and dozens of other "romantic intrigue" pictures shoved inside of it, but Crown succeeds in every place where Entrapment failed, and more than lives up to the very best intrigue pictures of the past.    

Where Entrapment was irritating, Crown is erotic.  Where Entrapment was convoluted, Crown is fetching.  Where Entrapment had you looking at the time, Crown is timeless.  Comparing The Thomas Crown Affair to Entrapment is like comparing Star Wars to Wing Commander.  They may be born of the same genre, but one healthily embraces it, while the other helplessly clings on for dear life.

With a brief exception made for Russo's clunky introduction, and sporadic overacting,The Thomas Crown Affair succeeds perfectly in all that it sets out to do.  It thrills you, it keeps you guessing, and it makes you want to go out and partake in a really erotic sex-fest, as soon as you possibly can.  What better praise can you give to a film than that? 

What does it make you feel like eating?

Low-fat foods that will help you create a sexy body that girls will want to lick and tickle.

What are you selling us here???

Mitsubishi, Pepsi One (AGAIN!), one thing that I forgot, and some rich people crap that I'm not familiar with, since I'm not a rich person, and I don't care for their crap.

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"I can't believe he pulled it off!!!" - John McTiernan, The Thomas Crown Affair

On a scale of 1-10?

7

Agree? Disagree? Wanna have cyber-sex? Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com

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Text (Copyright) 1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, you won't be invited to my erotic sex-fest!

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