ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY BOB WADE
?The Thomas Crown Affair.? Rated: R. I give it a 4 on a scale of 5.
Thomas Crown is a very wealthy man. He motors around the city in the best chauffeur-driven cars. He wears tailor-made suits. His investment company is on top of the heap.
But, having everything money can buy is not enough. He would also like to have things his substantial cash flow can?t acquire?like a $100 million painting from the Metropolitan Theater of Art.
So, what?s a spoiled rich guy to do? He steals it in broad daylight.
Pierce Brosnan plays Thomas Crown, the smart, impeccable dressed mastermind behind the elaborately staged theft.
On his trail is Rene Russo as Catherine Banning, an insurance investigator noted for her willingness to do whatever it takes to recover the merchandise without becoming emotionally involved. Until now.
Despite her best efforts to stay focused on the task at hand, Banning falls for Crown as the two-hour story unfolds, and that little conflict of interest provides the principle plot tension in this film.
Though this is by no means a dull movie, some of the scenes in ?The Thomas Crown Affair? that are intended to show us just how rich Crown is seem a bit overdone.
For example, at one point our man Thomas is playing a friendly golf game with some of his peers. When he hits a nice sand shot, a playing partner comments that he bets $1,000 Crown couldn?t hit that shot again.
Thomas drops another ball into the sand and, just to make it interesting, steps on the ball and ups the ante to $100,000. He also carelessly destroys a catamaran in a friendly boat race.
The movie is rated R thanks to some crude language and a couple of steamy scenes between Brosnan and Russo that keep a pretty good movie from being appropriate for teenagers.
The scenes also tend to deflate some of the sexual tension that has been building between the two throughout the plot. The language is not excessively coarse, and the violence is minimal.
Fans of Brosnan?s James Bond character will enjoy the same sophisticated leading man in ?The Thomas Crown Affair.?
But those expecting to see the explosive action and great stunts that have become the trademark of the 007 movies will be disappointed. This is more of a thinking person?s movie, a sexually charged whodunit that guys and gals can enjoy together.
Denis Leary plays Det. Michael McCann, who is forced to work with Banning to solve the case. He is at times philosophical and at other times mildly incompetent or at least half-hearted in his pursuit of the thief.
But, as he tells the insurance bounty hunter, he is not really all that interested in the games rich people play with rich people?s toys. He would rather be solving street-level crime where the human stakes are higher.
?The Thomas Crown Affair? will become a classic. But, it does entertain and amuse with its plot twists and turns.
Russo and Brosnan go together well, and though we can?t necessarily empathize with them and their lifestyles, we can enjoy watching them set and spring little traps for each other.
Bob Wade is a local video enthusiast. The videos he reviews come courtesy of Radio Shack/Quick Flick, 110 N. Main, Hillsboro.
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY BOB WADE