The Saint by Philip Noyce on Cine+ Premier (CanalSat)
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars
Simon Templar has no real family, no real home and Simon Templar isn’t even his real name. Yet Simon Templar , also known as the Saint for his use of creating false identities using the names of Catholic saints,is one of the world’s most successful thieves. Slick, debonair and a master of disguise, Simon manages to outwit the police again and again. On his next job Simon is hired by the Russian Mafia to steal a cold fusion energy formula from scientist Emma Russel, however the mission backfires as he falls for the pretty, intelligent scientist. Simon and his new love must now manage to outwit the Russian Mafia and work out the energy formula before the worst happens and the US is affected forever.
This is not really a “The Saint” movie as far as I am concerned. It has very little resemblance to the Simon Templar that we got to know in the TV-series starring Roger Moore in the lead role. I have not read the books so I do not know how well the movie actually relates to the books but I have to say that I was a little disappointed to see a Simon Templar that was not really…him.
I have never really been a huge fan of Val Kilmer and I do not really think he is the best match for the role. But then, as I wrote, I really do not see this as a Simon Templar movie anyway so. Elisabeth Shue is totally unbelievable as a scientist. I know they had to pick someone reasonably good-looking to satisfy the script but still, she just doesn’t cut it as a scientist. The Russians are giving a much better performance. I quite liked both the Tretiak characters.
That is not to say that this is a bad movie though. You just have to forget about the references to The Saint and Simon Templar. The latter is not very difficult since he really do not call himself Simon Templar in most of the movie anyway. What this movie is though is a fairly decent light entertainment about a skilled high stakes thief with a troubled childhood. I say light entertainment because the plot is really not much more than you would expect from a TV-series pilot. There are some fun action, some fun infiltration, disguises, a bit of high-tech etc. Just a mixture of some “fun stuff” making you go “okay that was not too bad” at the end of the movie.
Oh, one more thing, I know that Simon Templar used to drive a Volvo P1800 but quite frankly, that was the only cool car that Volvo have ever made. Since the movie was so far from what I consider to be Simon Templar it is a real bummer that they had to choose that modern Volvo crap for him to drive.