This entry in my blog is going to be more of a rant than a review given my experience watching this movie. I’m also going to include a few minor spoilers because I feel not many of you are going to want to watch this movie after I’m through with this entry.
The Thomas Crown Affair, directed by John McTiernan, the same individual that directed the first and best Die Hard, tells the story of a rich person (this is the best word I could think of because we are given no actual explanation of what he actually does for a living) named Thomas Crown (played by Piers Brosnan). On a unusually warm day in New York, where everyone happens to be wearing winter coats, Thomas Crown decides to “entertain” himself by stealing a 100 million dollar Monet from a reputed New York city museum. Following the robbery, an investigation is carried out led by Catherine Banning (played by Rene Russo), a seductive investigator representing the museum’s insurance company. Catherine takes a love interest in Crown, and this is basically what the majority of the movie is; a back and forth game between the two leads with romantic undertones.
My biggest problem with this movie is that it is straight out boring. There is a serious lack of suspense, action and drama and chemistry between the two leads, which is unfortunate because about 80% of the film is spent with them. The main problem is that I could feel that these two actors didn’t want to be in the frame together. All the love making scenes were also very awkward to watch. The film also struggles with sound mixing. There were some strange song choices that did not fit in with the overall tone of the movie. All the aerial shots of the movie were also poorly filmed; I could clearly see the camera shaking, almost as if the cameraman at the time had a fear of heights.
The film also shows particular sequence of scenes, which I call the ‘psychotherapy sessions’ where Faye Dunaway, who is Thomas Crown’s psychologist, questions Crown about his love life. Faye Dunaway’s character is the worst psychologist ever because she literally laughs at almost everything that Crown has to say. In my opinion, the film only included these scenes because they managed to cast Faye Dunaway and they wanted to just shoehorn her into the movie because she gets butts in seats.
Now I’m going to go into a few spoilers about the end of the film, so tune out if you don’t want to hear these. Essentially, the Thomas Crown Affair concludes by Thomas Crown making a trade off with Rene Russo’s character. She decides that she will spend the rest of her life with him if he manages to return the painting he stole by a certain timeslot. Of course he does manage to do this and it during this sequence it is revealed that he only stole the painting for two days. Thomas Crown did steal the painting initially, but he got an impressionist to paint over the original using watercolors and create a new painting. He then donated this new painting as a substitute for the “stolen” one. This is revealed as the sprinklers go off in the museum in the penultimate scene of the film and the water colors of the donated painting wash off, revealing the original. This is one of the most ridiculous endings because it gives no explanation as to why the painting was stolen in the first place. No character motivations whatsoever.
In conclusion, the Thomas Crown Affair suffers through underpar filmmaking in terms of aerial filming and sound mixing. The film was also quite boring with no character motivations whatsoever. If I were to give this film a compliment, it would be its robbery sequences at the museum (at the beginning and end). Those were actually well executed. Regardless, this movie will certainly not make it into my favorites list any time soon.