Friday Guilty Pleasure Flix: The Saint

TGIF! Time for another guilty pleasure post! I usually just pick one at random, and that’s how this one comes to mind. My hubby and I don’t have an extensive dvd collection, but we actually own this movie as we both enjoy it a lot. He describes it as part James Bond, part McGyver, with a bit of Mission Impossible‘s Ethan Hunt thrown in for his knack for various disguises.

Plot summary: Simon Templar – a fictitious name a young orphan boy invented for himself in a Hong Kong orphanage years ago – is now a suave, debonair, international thief who needs to pull-off just one more exuberant heist to put him at the $50 million mark in his Swiss bank account (his goal amount for retirement). An easy job: simply steal Dr. Emma Russel’s formula for cold-fusion, and deliver it to a Russian billionaire bent on sending Russia back to Communism – no problem, Right? Wrong! There’s one thing Mr. Templar, master of disguise didn’t count on … falling in love.

It’s a pretty light movie and not meant to be taken so seriously, in fact, Val Kilmer plays the title character Simon Templar with tongue firmly in cheek. He’s fun to watch in this movie, he believably inhabits his various false identities, infusing it with charm and wit as he masterfully goes about his charade. Kilmer is generally a likable actor to begin with, I mean, I like him as Batman (in Batman Forever), though I can’t say the same about the movie… I think any Batman flick with Robin in it is doomed for failure! Elisabeth Shue plays the brainy scientist who’s a bit naive and excitable, this is her second role post her Oscar-nod for Leaving Las Vegas. She’s not bad I suppose, nothing memorable in her performance considering how juicy Kilmer’s role is. The movie also pays a slight homage to original actor who played Simon Templar on British TV in the 1960s, Roger Moore, before he goes on to be Bond a decade later.

Marc from G-S-T recently mentioned this movie and its director in his movie meme. Phillip Noyce did the excellent political thrillers Patriot Games and Clear & Present Danger (with the BEST Jack Ryan ever: Harrison Ford), as well as the acclaimed war drama The Quiet American in which Michael Caine nabbed his sixth Oscar nomination. The Aussie director recently finished the action/thriller SALT with Angelina Jolie as the wrongly-accused CIA officer.

Anyhow, you can check out the trailer below:

Have you seen this movie? If so, what do you think of it?

18 thoughts on “Friday Guilty Pleasure Flix: The Saint

  1. PrairieGirl

    Haven’t seen The Saint, but really like Val Kilmer, especially in At First Sight. Haven’t heard much about him lately, though.

    1. I have the movie if you want to watch it, Becky, you might like it. He’s supposedly got like 5 movies done this year, the most popular one is probably the MacGyver spoof MacGruber. It’s probably only worth a dvd viewing though.

  2. Aw man, I remember this being one of the few movies I really didn’t like as a kid. Just noticed it’s up on Netflix instant streaming now though and my friend keeps hassling me about how good it is, so with your powers combined, it might be due time to give it another shot.

    1. He..he.. I’m not going to defend this movie to the death, Aiden, I mean that’s why I put it as guilty pleasure. It’s not a ‘great’ movie but it’s entertaining even just to watch Kilmer in one of his juiciest roles. Give it another chance, who knows you might like it more this time around.

  3. Marc

    Thanks for the shout-out Ruth! This was one of my favorite films in High School and has fallen some spots on my all time list but I still love it.

    One of the best Kilmer films, aside from The Doors of course and man does he have range in this! To me the only thing better than Kilmer in the movie is the sensational score by Graeme Revell.

    If you have time, listen to Phiilip Noyce’s commentary. Bit stuffy but the tidbits about Kilmer make it worth it.

    1. Hey, anytime, Marc. I appreciate you stopping by today, I figure you’d be swamped catching up with your zombie-post comments! 🙂

      Haven’t seen The Doors, though he does resemble Jim Morrison so much it’s uncanny!

      Yeah, I’ll check out the commentary now that you mention it. Y’know what, I’ve actually never done that. Perhaps I should as I might find some juicy tidbits from there. Heh, for some reason I feel like saying the word ‘juicy’ today, beats me.

  4. I have a real soft spot for this movie, especially considering that I would ordinarily laugh similar movies like it out the door. I never made the Jack Ryan connection, but I suppose that makes sense – easily digestible politcal thriller with smattering of action here and there.

    This was Kilmer at the height of his fame and power, before something odd happened to him and shoved him into the C-list. (I still love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I just think his star has faded for reasons I don’t get – maybe he had a meltdown on set, or a really well managed heroin problem.)

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. Maybe I’ll reconsider upgrading my VHS for a DVD.

    1. Hi Steve! No, there isn’t really a Jack Ryan connection other than it was directed by the same guy. Yeah, I’ve always wondered about that myself, about Val’s descent to C-list territory, he’s such a charismatic actor and obviously very talented. In fact, that’s what Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang is so much fun to watch, it’s got two actors who are both extremely watchable!

  5. Haven’t seen this but I totally agree that Harrison Ford made the best Jack Ryan! Clear and Present Danger is one of my guilty pleasure 🙂

    1. Yeah, Harrison as Jack Ryan is kinda like Chris Reeve with his Superman role, any other actor to replace him has massive shoes to fill!!

  6. rockerdad

    I didn’t realize Jim Morrison was The Saint! Never saw this but Elizabeth Shue is pretty cool. I would hope that they kept some of the cool theme music from the Original Series…

  7. I may be developing a crush on you.

    I LOVE this version with Val Kilmer, it’s one of his sexiest and best roles ever, and Elisabeth Shue was so hot in it as well.

    The acting was good, the suspense was tense, and it was FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

    You rule Ruth.

    1. And I you Heather for such a fine comment! 🙂 It is definitely FUN with a capital F! I find him quite sexy here as well, he’s got one of those unconventional look to him, I find men that aren’t so classically handsome really attractive. Whatever happen to Elisabeth Shue?? She kinda disappears after her Oscar nom, but I remember she was kind of the ‘it’ girl in the 90s, she’s also pretty hot in Cocktail with Tom Cruise.

  8. Samantha

    Yep, love this one. I think I saw it in the theater, and thought it was much better than the critics, etc. made it out to be. Kilmer was totally hot back in the day.

    (Bonus love for Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, duh. 🙂

    1. Wow, you saw this in the theater? Lucky you! I think I was still in Jakarta at the time, didn’t go to the cinema much then. Yeah, Kilmer was hot indeed. Have you seen his first movie Top Secret? A must see for Kilmer fans. And obviously for KKBB, RDJ in top form as well, I bet the guys love Michelle Monaghan in there, too 🙂

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