Reviewed by Steve Crow
Rating: 7.5 Beans
alk about your ego vehicle! I'm going to disagree with reviewer Michael Rucki, because this entire movie dwells on Val Kilmer. And...he's not up for the part. He's horribly miscast. For starters, Simon Templar is English (or at least, he's supposed to be). Val was born in California. Simon Templar the Surfer Dude just doesn't work. Sorry - strike one.
Anyone who has heard the stories of Kilmer's enormous ego can see it full-blown here. Every disguise he dons is a little "Look at me!" moment as he puts on bogus accents that wouldn't fool a five-year-old, and bushy eyebrows or something that he got out of a dimestore Groucho Marx kit. Strike two.
And he has absolutely no chemistry with his leading lady, Elisabeth Shue. Strike three. Kilmer can give a good performance when he buries himself in a role (like, say, Doc Holliday in Tombstone). But here you're just continually reminded that you're watching...well, Val Kilmer.
The movie itself? It's a rehash of Mission Impossible and the more recent Brosnan-style Bond post-Cold War movies. The villains aren't particularly interesting, and the movie settles on the buzzword of the year ("cold fusion") for its plot. I am a fan of Leslie Charteris' Saint novels, but I didn't go into this movie expecting to get that character. Although if it was good enough for a TV series lasting six years and 118 episodes, it's not clear why the concept had to be altered for a big-screen movie. But that's Hollywood for you.
Anyhoo, what we get here is just an uninteresting character with a dumb fetish for assuming the name of saints (and which it takes the police forever to catch on to), and who falls in love with a woman and repents his ways. Sort of. Maybe. Kinda. The only sense of fun that you would think such a thief would have is what Kilmer seems to have for his own little disguise performances.
So if you're a Val Kilmer fan, catch this one on video because you can see him up there in all his self-directed glory. Otherwise, give it a pass.
Other reviews for this movie:
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