Simon Templar (The Saint), is a thief for hire, whose latest job to steal the secret process for cold fusion puts him at odds with a traitor bent on toppling the Russian government, as well as the woman who holds its secret.
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. Written by
When Simon Templar is disguised as a long-haired artist, his accent is a passable imitation South African, specifically Capetonian. He refers to his "home in Africa" and uses the vernacular Afrikaans pronunciation of Jesus ("Yissus!") as an expletive. Kilmer learned the accent from a South African assistant with whom he worked on The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), the movie he completed before he started filming this movie. It is interesting to note that in the short story "The Man Who Was Clever", someone does describe the Saint as South African. However, since the Saint has resorted to deception in the past to achieve his goals, the reliability of this information remains questionable. See more »
When Emma enters Simon's English country house she leaves the door wide open and continues into the room. In a subsequent shot, the door is closed. See more »
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and not just because of Val Kilmer's accomplishment at successfully being eye-candy, but also because of the amazing personality transformations his character goes through in front of the mirror. The story line itself is pretty impressive and I loved that although it keeps you guessing, you don't end up wondering, "What the hell is going on?' The science side is played down enough for the audience to know it's there but not to get distracted by its details. I don't know if the theory actually works, but after watching the film I don't really care - that isn't the point of the movie.
The thing that surprised me the most though was the leading female scientist, played by Elisabeth Shue. It's obvious from the start that she's going to be the 'love interest' but her characters personality always puts a question to the question, will they actually end up together. She's shy and nervous of people, but is incredibly open, honest and warmly lovable - an almost perfect contrast to Kilmer's über-suave, identity-confused, international thief-for-hire/spy. But that's the very thing that makes them ideal for each other, they might just be able to help each other with their character flaws and so you root for them both on a rather grand scale.
I was vaguely baffled by the inclusion of random, suffering Russian civilians towards the latter half of the film, but considering that they were a film device to make the baddie look bad, the goodie look good and the 'common people trapped in the middle' look down right fantastic, they do their job rather well (apart from one woman who rats out our hero). All in all, they makes sure the audience are still caring if the common people are helped by the good guy, and hoping that the bad guy will eventually get his comeuppance.
However, back to my original point. I still think that the film's main achievement is putting Val Kilmer in an interesting role that shows off just how good he can be; he's observant, yet unobservable; seductive, yet not a cad; confident but riddled with insecurities. Moreover, in the early stages of the film, British students are no longer misrepresented as drunken, whoring lay-abouts, but as attentive learners who actually show up for lectures. Impressive stuff.
Yours Sincerely, A Proud British Student.
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