Reviewed by Cherie Jung


Starring: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames, Will Patton, Maury Chaykin.

Directed by: Jon Amiel

Screenplay by: Ron Bass

Based on a story by Ron Bass and Michael Hertzberg

Sean Connery portrays Robert "Mac" MacDougal, a highly regarded art thief. Perhaps the world's greatest living art thief, one might say. In pursuit of "Mac," is an insurance investigator, Virginia "Gin" Baker -- why couldn't they spare us the cutsey-pooh nickname? -- played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Gin convinces her boss to let her "team up" with Mac, posing as another highly skilled art thief, in the hopes of entraping him. One theft leads to another. Twists and turns abound, but nothing that you won't have figured out long before the screen characters do. In fact, there was only one surprise for me in this movie, and that wasn't that one of the characters wasn't who he pretended to be, but rather, I hadn't actually figured out who he was working for before it was revealed in the plot.

Now don't get me wrong. I like a good caper. I enjoyed Clint Eastwood's portrayal of a classy thief in "Absolute Power" and I thoroughly enjoyed Ed Harris's cop character in pursuit of Eastwood. Not to mention those nasty Secret Service guys! I even enjoy the old "It Takes a Thief" series featuring Robert Wagner. But this outing with Connery and Zeta-Jones is all wrong.

For me, the romantic angle didn't work. I saw no chemistry between Connery and Zeta-Jones. (And it's hard not to see chemisty in the twinkling of Sean Connery's eyes!) The plot is convoluted but uninteresting. The players are all not who or what they seem to be, but by the time their real identities were revealed, I had lost interest and didn't care who they were anymore. The pacing was so slow in places that I also found that I no longer cared if they did or didn't finish the caper. I was just hoping the movie would end.

In this movie, Sean Connery seems to be suffering the same fate as Clint Eastwood in "True Crime." Bad casting and muddled story-telling detract from what could have been an exciting movie.

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