Self-made billionaire Thomas Crown is bored of being able to buy everything he desires. Being irresistible to women, he also does not feel any challenge in that area. But there are a few things even he can't get, therefore Thomas Crown has a seldom hobby: He steals priceless masterpieces of Art. After the theft of a famous painting from Claude Monet, the only person suspecting Thomas Crown is Catherine Banning. Her job is to get the picture back, no matter how she accomplishes her mission. Unfortunately, Catherine gets involved too deeply with Thomas to keep a professional distance to the case. Fortunately, Thomas seems to fall for her, too. Written by
Julian Reischl <email@example.com>
The final conversation between Detective McCann and Banning in which he essentially excuses her from the investigation so she can chase down Thomas Crown was not in the original script, but added about halfway through filming. See more »
During the love scene, the paperback book "High Fidelity" (easily recognizable with its neon green/orange cover) is seen in different locations. See more »
Well, what can I say after watching this film, being a fan of the original. To begin with, I enjoyed it as it was almost a 90's play by play remake, and I am always pleased to see how a 60's or 70's classic would have looked 20 something years later. The early scenes in the film were very close to the original, with the business deal going through, and then Crown going to observe the heist; although participating this time around, and so, with what I saw I saw a hell of a lot of promise to shine up to the original. The heist seems in both are superbly conceived and very well filmed, with just the right amount of tension about the problems arising. Good stuff.
Enter Russo, dressed as a total Dunaway clone (Remember the headscarf?) and with some scenes of total over acting which could have worked well but on the whole didn't. Where Russo seems to let go and enjoy herself is a slip mistake that the character would never have done; Dunaway ALWAYS kept her cool in the original.
Enter the cat and mouse thriller element of the film. I have seen a few reviews here that say that this dragged the film along, slowing it down considerably. However, this film, in both versions, is not about a robbery, it is about the chase. The point of the film is the exchanges between the two protagonists, each trying to catch the other out; and this is the brilliance of the film, because it isn't a visual action plot with little in it that so many films are today. This makes you watch, this makes you observe and it makes you think.
Moving on to the character of Crown by Brosnan. Some people have said that Brosnan was hollow and one dimensional, with no background to his motivation to the robbery. This is EXACTLY the point and this is why the ending of the 1999 version does NOT work. Thomas Crown only has two things that he cares about: Greed and acquisition. The scene in both versions with the business deal at the beginning is the evidence at this, with the corporate suits joking about "Thomas Crown actually selling something" then we find out that he only sold it because, unknown to them, they were offering 30 million more than anyone else. All Crown cares about is possessing as much as he can, this is why he has been alone all this time. And, with this being the point of the character, that is why the ending of the film is so disappointing and unbelievable compared to the original. Crown desired to own the painting and he would not have given this up for the love of a woman, because, although it is obvious he wants a woman to love him, he cannot love women, because he can only love what he owns, and he wants to own everything. The original version, with McQueen deceiving Dunaway, after she betrayed him and then leaving her on the plane is a much more convincing ending.
Another unconvincing aspect is the comparison between the McQueen/Dunaway and Brosnan/Russo relationships. Firstly, the dance scene comes nowhere near comparison to the chess scene of the original; and the dance scene is very poorly filmed as well. The chess scene showed both characters attempts at dominance over each other, their lust to win over each other, and they sexual tension between them as they play with the chess pieces, slowly and seductively. The dance scene is a quick montage of unclear movement with the only piece of sexual tension being Brosnan laying his hands on Russo. All the dominance that Dunaway had in the original was disposed of and Russo caved into to sleeping with Crown very easily. Then, there is the Brosnan/Russo sex scene; which in my opinion was HIGHLY unnecessary. McQueen and Dunaway never needed to do a nude scene together, as the sexual tension between the two was so obvious that it could be cut with a bread knife. However, Brosnan and Russo do not have that touch, the spark was nowhere near as big, and the inclusion of a nude scene still does not bring it anywhere near the status of attraction that the original couple had.
This film could have been a classic remake if it didn't try to be so politically correct. The only reason why the remake switched from a bank heist to art theft is because, in today's world, armed robbery cannot be presented as an elegant theft. This is ridiculous, as the reason that the original's heist was so smooth was because of the planning, timing and element of no one of the criminals meeting until midway through the heist; all goes on while McQueen watches from across the road. Where was the planning and recruitment in this remake? Oh yes, Russo mentioned it so quickly, it would have been dismissed faster than one of Brosnan's butler's lines. And the idea of a happy ending, with both of the characters, now definitely lovers, flying off into the sunset with plans for happiness together. Garbage. These two characters are selfish and greedy because they only look at for number one in a dog eats dog world. McQueen's Crown saw this, knowing to drop Dunaway or go to jail; and this PC happy ending is just not compatible with this film; as with a cat and mouse thriller, someone has to lose.
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