THE ORIGINAL THOMAS CROWN Affair is a cheesy '60s relic -- a leftover from the days of split screens, soft lighting, and folksy theme songs. Though it stars Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, it has not aged well over the years, which of course makes it ripe for a remake.

Enter the new Thomas Crown Affair, starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, throwing a '90s spin on that very '60s heist film.

Most remakes end up doing a disservice to their source material, but one of the surprising things about the new Thomas Crown Affair is that it actually improves on the original. It manages to keep the fun tone of the '68 version and update it at the same time, which is not an easy trick. Perhaps the best thing the new version has going for it is that it's actually an adult movie. These days, while teenager focus groups dictate most everything in Hollywood, the makers of The Thomas Crown Affair have geared their film for people old enough to vote. There's no hip soundtrack; everything moves at a slower pace, and nobody even gets shot.

The story goes like this: Thomas Crown is a billionaire businessman (in the original, he was only a millionaire businessman -- you know, the bull market and all) who likes to rob art museums on the side. As the film opens, he pulls off a great heist, stealing a $100 million painting. This brings a beautiful insurance investigator (Rene Russo) into town to recover the painting. She, of course, immediately suspects Thomas Crown. She ambushes him at a party, and they fall for each other, all the while playing a flirtatious game of cat and mouse. But there's a hitch: At some point, either Crown will have to flee the country, or he'll have to return the painting to the museum without getting caught. That dilemma brings us to the climax, and it's actually a brilliant one.The new Thomas Crown Affair may have some flaws, but the overall fun of the movie outshines them. If you want to see a summer blockbuster that's not dumbed down, check it out. If not, there's always The Haunting. film

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