Film Review: The Thomas Crown Affair (Pierce Brosnan version!)

I don’t mind stories where one of the main characters is smarter than the cops, but Renee Russo’s character is arrogant beyond belief. Her snarky smile and the “I told you so” grins are a bit much.

She bypasses police protocol and without any real authority piques Crowne’s attitude and interest that he is now a suspect in the art heist. Faye Dunaway in the original (who also plays a cameo as a snarky psychiatrist who laughs at her own patients in this film) was the insurance investigator but was also playing by the rules. Renee’s Ms. Banning is a smart ass and not a very good insurance investigator at that, despite a few lucky guesses.

Russo starts to crack as Crowne drags her out — a few jealous moments, some betrayal — but heck, she’s not that attractive, even with her clothes off!

Peter Brosnan plays a financier who plans art heists just because he can, but unlike Steve McQueen in the original, Peter underplays it all.

Strange scenes: she steals his keys and then makes copies. then she and her boys essentially break into Crowne’s house. since they have no warrant, any evidence would not be admissible, so what’s the point? Crowne out-smarts her and we hear strains of “Windmills of Your Mind” which is cute (the theme song from the original) but really now!

Russo, when she does break down, is not all that strong after all and that’s really too bad. The ending is a bit happier than the original, however.

I will give the movie props for a decent soundtrack and some homage to the original film. There are similar scenes from the original where Crowne and Banning go off to take glider rides and so on, but there’s not the drawn-out scenes like in the McQueen film (thank goodness!).


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