Reviews

The Thomas Crown Affair

3

At last, an action movie that your mum would love. There's little swearing, no guns or grenades and the main protagonists are even over 25. But although this remake of Steve McQueen's 1968 version is leaps and bounds better than the original (in that it's not tediously dull) describing McTiernan's Thomas Crown Affair is an exercise in the usage of middle-of-the-road adjectives: good, interesting, clever. But at no point does the film blast or sizzle or shout at you; it's just nice, safe and vaguely satisfying entertainment. Just the way your mum likes it.

That both Brosnan and Russo are of similar age is a blissful relief after the sugar-daddy nonsense of Entrapment. Both are untrusting, cool and calculating, convincing you that they'd be drawn to the danger of each other, as Catherine accuses Thomas of the crime, and he does nothing to deny it other than asking her out to lunch. The pair's mind-games are backdropped against a sort of plain opulence - Crown being a man wealthy enough to own a clifftop house in the Caribbean and a jet to fly him there, but with enough sense to make it a simple, homely place.

But as cop Denis Leary does little more than follow Catherine's leads while Crown struggles to work out if she wants him or the $5 million reward, the middle of the film loses pace. Sure, there's a glider scene like the original, and original star Faye Dunaway puts in a cameo as Crown's plot-explaining therapist ("So why do you never commit to women?"), but throwing the original song - Windmills Of My Mind - into a contemporary score is pushing the connection too far. Still, it's good to see characters talk before they jump into bed, or plan capers instead of just shooting their way in and out. And your mum will just lurve Pierce...

Verdict:

The lack of violence and harsh language might attract older viewers. But to the cash-heavy 18-25 demographic, gentlemanly thievery and the romantic manoeuvring of two fortysomethings are probably too pedestrian to be engaging.

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