Talking Movies

August 25, 2019

So tonight I’m going to party like it’s 1999

It’s now twenty years since I passed on the Pierce Brosnan remake in the cinema because I’d recently seen and not loved the Steve McQueen original, and because I found it disquietingly salacious how much of the publicity focused on fortysomething Rene Russo’s bare breasts.

Having recently got round to watching it I was struck by how I would never have thought the director was John McTiernan, above all because of the boring opening to get to what we already know. It strikes me that this film suffers from this more than anything else I can recall, and I think there might be three reasons for that. It is a remake so we all know that Mr Crown is a dilettante criminal. It is clear from the trailer that Mr Crown is a dilettante criminal, that is the reason to see Brosnan play the role with his customary insouciance. It takes damn near twenty-five minutes to reveal that Mr Crown is a dilettante criminal, that is too long in a film under two hours to faff about structurally on something the audience already knows twice over.

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