The Thomas Crown Affair
John McTiernan (Die Hard, The Last Action Hero) directs The Thomas Crown Affair, a remake of the mildly loved 1968 Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway/Norman Jewison thriller that brought the world the equally mildly loved song "The Windmills Of Your Mind." In this version, handsome man Pierce Brosnan plays the eponymous hero, a multi-billionaire who initiates the eponymous affair by stealing Monet's Impression: Sunrise from New York's Metropolitan Museum for kicks. Hot on his trail is funnyman Denis Leary, aided by insurance investigator Rene Russo. Though introduced as a tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners professional, it's not long before Russo is doffing her ethics along with her immaculate wardrobe, swept up by Brosnan's suave art thief, a performance that may shock audiences used to seeing him play suave spies and suave private eyes. No doubt McTiernan and company intended Thomas Crown as a mixture of romance, suspense, and a thrilling battle of wills, but what they've created is a big Harlequin novel of a movie, placing the greatest emphasis on scenes in which Brosnan, just like no man who has ever lived, creates elaborate tricks to discern whether or not Russo truly loves him. "Miscast" is the polite explanation for what the once-reliable Russo does here, although, in what has to be the year's most grotesque instance of conspicuous product placement, she convincingly enjoys a can of delicious Pepsi One, keeping the label turned to the camera at all times. In the end, the results are duller than you might expect—like Brosnan, they're as handsome as they are unengaging—although the morbid will be interested to see what's become of human skeleton Dunaway, who turns up as Brosnan's psychiatrist.