Reviewed by Michael Rucki
Rating: 5 Beans
his disjointed movie has the feel of an editor gone clip-happy; you’d probably drown in all the scenes left on the cutting room floor. But it still manages to be about two hours, which is too much time to invest in this bland film. Somehow they managed to deaden the action yet have no character development -- a bit of a minus, eh?
Okay, Val Kilmer is an inspired choice to be the newest Saint. His disguises range from a South African renaissance man to an effeminate German, a la Dieter from Sprockets. He’s obviously having fun in these roles, and the audience is swept along during those moments. Unfortunately there’s a surprising lack of action and suspense in this "Action/Suspense" flick -- the outcome is never in doubt.
Elizabeth Shue is the naive and beautiful Emma, a young scientist who keeps her groundbreaking "cold fusion" notes stuffed in her bra. Seriously. The chemistry between Shue and Kilmer is terrific in a few early scenes, but their relationship never really progresses. Just when you think you might see Kilmer’s character get some depth , "The Saint" quickly degenerates into a mess of disjointed action scenes and failed plot lines.
The villains are hardly worth mentioning. They’re pathetic Russian stereotypes that never get interesting enough to inspire any real attention. Hollywood often forgets that the antagonist can be as important as the hero; a great bad-guy can really help a film. For example, the villains in "Die Hard With A Vengeance" and "Demolition Man" (Jeremy Irons and Wesley Snipes respectively) provide a crucial counterpoint to the heroes, enlivening otherwise average movies. In "The Saint," when Kilmer foils the villains, you get no satisfaction -– the characters weren’t interesting enough for you to care.
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