The Saint (1997)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 9/5/04
Music: Graeme Revell
Cast: Val Kilmer, Elizabeth Shue, Irina Apeximova

Simon Templar (Val Kilmer) is a master thief and a man of many disguises. When he takes on an assignment to steal a formula for cold fusion, he meets and falls for Dr. Emma Russell (Elizabeth Shue), the cute and bumbling scientist babe who has developed the formula. Things become difficult when his employers decide to kill him, and the majority of the film is a cat-and-mouse game as Templar and Russell repeatedly outwit their relentless pursuers.

A fun and lighthearted romantic thriller that has a TV movie innocence and blandness to it. Having never seen the original series with Roger Moore, I don't know how close this version hits the mark. Val Kilmer is wonderful as the complicated Templar, and his numerous disguises are fascinating and hilarious. He's also a bit of a jackass, but in the end he turns out to have a heart of gold. Elizabeth Shue is delightful as the romantically nerdy doctor. She also looks extremely good in her underwear. However, as adorable as she is, it's Russian hottie Irina Apeximova who steals the show as an underground art dealer. She is amazingly hot and sexy. Overall, the production is well made and well paced, but a bit too contrived and upbeat for my tastes. I kept expecting a dark and tragic edge that never came.