HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Saint, The Bring Back Roger
Year: 1997
Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue, Rade Serbedzija, Valeriy Nikolaev, Henry Goodman, Alun Armstrong, Michael Byrne, Evgeniy Lazarev, Irina Apeksimova, Lev Prygunov, Charlotte Cornwell, Emily Mortimer, Tommy Flanagan, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Roger Moore
Genre: Thriller, Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Simon Templar (Val Kilmer) was a little boy, he was brought up in a Catholic orphanage, but he was a rebel who refused to buckle under the strict rules the priests and nuns arranged for the children. One thing that was drummed into him were the names of the saints, and he never forgot those nor their stories; another thing he never forgot was that one night after he and his fellow orphans were punished, he almost escaped, and wanted to steal a kiss from his favourite girl before he went, but the priests caused an accident and she fell to her death. This has haunted him into adulthood, where he is now a millionaire thanks to his way with taking on jobs as one of the best thieves for hire in the business...

The Saint was of course the Leslie Charteris character who was created by the author in the nineteen-twenties and became the hero of countless books and television episodes, as well as a number of big screen adaptations from the thirties to the fifties. George Sanders was the highest profile actor to take the role there, but it was Roger Moore who would be most associated with the adventurer thanks to umpteen television instalments in the sixties, which rarely left the studio but did make great use of back projected exotic locations to place him all over the globe. Moore had been trying to get a big screen comeback for the character off the ground since the eighties, once the Ian Ogilvy version of the seventies had run its course.

He failed, but The Saint did return in the form of Kilmer, and promptly failed to set the box office alight with well-founded rumours of much behind the scenes meddling with director (and long time fan of Charteris) Phillip Noyce's vision. Essentially, this had taken a far more romantic view of the story, so Templar fell in love, but then he would see that potential happiness torn from his grasp to make him the man he was, a more resonant echo of the prologue. However, once the movie was completed to Noyce's satisfaction, the producers didn't like what the test audiences were telling them, and the entire last act was reshot, which effectively was a waste of millions because the film flopped at the box office anyway.

What was the problem in this era when classic characters were getting reimagined hither and yon, and the public were apparently welcoming this trend? One issue was that while the sixties series was set around the world if not filmed there, this actually did visit Moscow to shoot scenes there at a time when doing so in Red Square and so on was notable news. What it was not was particularly captivating to watch, lending a dour appearance to what was patently emulating the James Bond series, as if they would have been better making a John Le Carré adaptation than an action adventure with a dash of romance. The snow fell, the Russians chuntered, and Templar got stuck in a sewer: not as compelling as what the Bond franchise was carrying off at the same time, not by some margin.

But the biggest liability was Kilmer himself, in one of the most narcissistic performances of his career; he had ditched Batman & Robin to star in this, not such a bad move, but watching him now it appeared as if Ben Stiller had learned a lot from Kilmer here in creating Zoolander as pouting Val demonstrated his Blue Steel at every opportunity, to the point of distraction. You couldn't imagine this Templar would ever be a master of disguise since every one of his looks closely resembled a certain Mr V. Kilmer, and his array of silly accents was not doing him any favours either. The purists who loved the books complained of a missed opportunity, for this was more a hero who happened to be called The Saint than faithful to the source (this incarnation was strictly a non-killer), and the addition of that nineties cause celebre, cold fusion, was a poor fit, notably when we had to believe wide-eyed scientist Elisabeth Shue had cracked it all by herself and not a mention of red mercury to be heard. Another thriller that missed the Cold War but was at a loss what to do about it, you could see why it didn't catch on at the time. Music by Graeme Revell (Orbital offered their version of the famous theme).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1537 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: