Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1997. Paramount Pictures, Rysher Entertainment, Mace Neufeld Productions, Robert Evans Company. Story by Jonathan Hensleigh, Screenplay by Jonathan Hensleigh, Wesley Strick, based on characters created by Leslie Charteris. Cinematography by Phil Meheux. Produced by David Brown, Robert Evans, William J. MacDonald, Mace Neufeld. Music by Graeme Revell. Production Design by Joseph C. Nemec III. Costume Design by Marlene Stewart. Film Editing by Terry Rawlings.
Val Kilmer gets to play hundreds of different characters in this dull caper and yet he’s incredibly boring in every single one. As the title character, a clever thief with many disguises who does jobs for many international organizations, he is enlisted to steal the formula for cold fusion that has been discovered by an earnest scientist (Elisabeth Shue) who has far too much time to do her hair while saving the world. Shue’s character wants to give this technology to the world free of charge because she believes it’s for the people, but greedy corporations want to capitalize on its possibilities. Kilmer takes on the job until he unwittingly falls for the innocent young lass, thus embroiling himself in a game that now has too many sides to be safe for anyone involved. Kilmer is a very selfish performer, uninterested in sharing his personal emotional discoveries with his audience, and this aloof quality keeps the film from being enjoyable or involving.