(out of 5)
Superior remake of Norman Jewison’s 1968 cheesefest, notable for featuring the female performance of the year from its star Rene Russo: displaying strength, vulnerability and everything in between, her Catherine Banning is a fascinating and infectiously desirable lady. Pierce Brosnan stars and co-produces as multimillionaire Thomas Crown, a man who steals famous paintings because being so rich is just so boring. Russo is the elegant insurance claims investigator who is quite certain that the recent robbery of a classic Monet has something to do with the seemingly innocent billionaire. In the original version, Steve McQueen’s Crown robbed banks, but here the addition of the art world gives the film a whole new dimension of interest it never had before. There’s also a killer sequence involving Crown fooling the authorities at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art by using countless body doubles, a hot-as-hell salsa sequence, a spirit-lifting score by Bill Conti and a very impressive supporting performance by Denis Leary. This is an action film that trades on its characters’ wits and not their guns, and succeeds at every step.
Directed by John McTiernan
Cinematography by Tom Priestley Jr.
Music by Bill Conti
Production Design by Bruno Rubeo
Film Editing by John Wright