The Thomas Crown Affair

ThomasCrownAffairA movie should entertain people to become successful.  A film becomes forever loved when it entertains people with heart, reason, and originality.  The Thomas Crown Affair meets all these criteria and stands as the year’s best film yet.

Pierce Brosnan plays the wealthy Thomas Crown who encounters a smart insurance agent, Rene Russo, and many other interesting characters including detective “don’t call me lieutenant” Michael McCann, played by Denis Leary.

This film already has a good base to work from because it’s based on the 1968 film of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, who also appears in the film with Pierce Brosnan at several key points in the plot.  Rene Russo plays Catherine Banning with confidence and blatantly direct dialogue so she can “cut through the crap” all in stylish dress including one so “unique” that a character in the movie has to comment on it.

Producer/leading man Pierce Brosnan knows his audience well by setting himself in situations where his brain and charisma get him out of trouble, sort of like a familiar British spy he plays every two years or so.  Denis Leary performs extremely well by focusing his character’s action on his function as a detective, to find the person(s) committing the robberies.  Director John McTiernan (DieHard, Hunt For Red October) utilizes focusing shots from above, smooth tracking shots, meaningful double shots, and sweeping close up shots that heighten the audience’s perspective to the characters.

This movie works so completely by explaining every element presented even incorporating specific objects into this satisfying web of thrills and intrigue that keeps you guessing.  Thomas Crown illustrates a good point when he offers Catherine the option of being “fugitives with means.”  He has intelligence and charisma, but in this materialistic world money goes a long way.

It’s sad that our society allows people of stature and celebrity to get any with more than the average person.  The function of Crown’s social stature represents the only negative element of this film because it’s used as an excuse for him to steal.  The moral question of the act of stealing is quelled by his millionaire status which allows him to fulfill his desire to live life on the edge.  In this case, the act of stealing is allowed because Crown doesn’t “harm” anyone or embarrass the police, so the police don’t “foul” or treat Crown as most thieves would be treated.

Very highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) for complete usage of cinematic tools and elements all for the audience’s benefit giving you an unforgettable experience that stays with you even after you exit the theater.  Some extra bonuses include a cute wordplay on a local Ohio city and a product placement so blatant it made the whole theater laugh.  Rated R.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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This entry was posted in 1990s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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