The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 4/15/00
Director: John McTiernan
Music: Bill Conti
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary, cameo by Faye Dunaway

A well made caper film featuring the ultra-suave Pierce Brosnan as a slick art thief. When he steals a Monet painting he catches the attention of an insurance investigator, played with authority by Rene Russo. She quickly deduces the crime and is determined to bust Brosnan, and Brosnan is thrilled with the notion of having such a worthy adversary on his tail. Lots of cat-and-mouse scheming and double scheming as the two characters continue to outwit and outguess each other, and an awkward romance begins to bloom. The film is a slow starter, but it starts getting interesting about halfway in. Pierce Brosnan is very slick as the questionable Thomas Crown, but I was constantly being torn between liking his character and despising it. Rene Russo makes a great adversary for Brosnan and they create some good chemistry. My only complaint about her performance is that her sensuality is presented too forcefully. The camera aggressively shoves her charms into your face, as if we needed proof that Ms. Russo is a really attractive woman. Whatever happened to subtlety? Additionally, Bill Conti's light jazz score seems really out of place. Not really my thing, but it has enough intrigue to not be boring.