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Lightly enjoyable but a disappointment in the context of author Leslie Charteris's popular character, the Saint--who has been played by several actors, most notably George Sanders--this 1997 film is more in keeping with the requirements of high-octane contemporary action than it is the requirements of a particular legacy. Val Kilmer plays Simon Templar, the mercenary spy, who is hired to steal a fusion formula but falls in love with the scientist (Elisabeth Shue) who cooked it up. Kilmer's portrayal bears little resemblance to Charteris's rakish hero, and the film itself becomes increasingly improbable and ponderous the longer it goes on. --Tom Keogh
Val kilmer sizzles as simon templar aka the saint a gentleman thief and master of disguise caught in a deadly web of international intrigue. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 05/17/2005 Starring: Val Kilmer Rade Serbedzija Run time: 118 minutes Rating: Pg13 Director: Phillip Noyce
- Short of a Saint. More like a monk.
The movie is not as good as I thought it was going to be. My son liked it though....more info
- HIGHLY ENTERTAINING
The Saint as played by Roger Moore was an ex-thief. The Saint as played by Val Kilmer is a thief with a good heart who wants to retire from crime. Basically it's the same character only earlier. This is the story of how Templar retired from crime and became The Saint. It's fun!...more info
- "The Amereecans are in here!"
For the most part, the action scenes are great. The chemistry between Kilmer and Shue works well. My friends and I always get a laugh when quoting this movie. The only thing I cannot stand about it is the Russian characters always speaking in English with eachother rather than in Russian. I know this is obviously so the audience does not have to read subtitles, but it would have made the movie a bit more authentic. They could have done something like was done in "Hunt for Red October". The actors spoke Russian, and then a close up was done to an actor's mouth and he started to speak English. This has always been a beef I have had with movies with characters that are foreign. Overall, it is a good movie and the soundtrack is good too....more info
- good espionage movie
The Saint is much better than most modern espionage movies. The Bourne Identity was empty headed and bland. The Saint has twists, wit, and charm....more info
- Not the most saintly of professions
Val Kilmer actually pulls off being an international man of mystery and soldier for hire. He has come a long way from playing Ice Man on Top Gun. Taking various aliases complete with international passports and identities ... the coy and colorful character falls for a scientist .... while dealing with the Russian mafia. My favorite scene is when Elisabeth Shue runs towards the American Embassy in Moscow and is pulled into the gates by the Marines guarding the entrance. ...more info
- good dvd
It is a good merchandise very low price. It a great opportunity to collete all those movies that can t bee fond in any store....more info
- Tainted, not Sainted
Saints preserve us! Why, oh why, did they decide to butcher The Saint? The original series based on Charteris' novels and acted by a suave, debonair and above all _competent_ Roger Moore was highly enjoyable, and left us curious to see Simon Templar's most recent incarnation. You know what they say about curiosity...
Val Kilmer gives us a two-dimensional sociopath whose squinty-eyed attempts at acting leave one wishing the authorities would see through his flimsy "disguises" and lock him away to spare us the rest of this movie. The romance is cheesy, the "haunting past" borders on the absurd, the "evil Russian Mafia conspiracy" is painfully stereotypical, the script sounds like a bargain-bin reject, the plot holes are big enough to drive a truck through, the action sequences are the interminable "everyone is a superhero" variety that has become so pervasive - and at a 112-minute running time, it all plays out at excruciating length. The film could almost work as satire if it didn't take itself with such stilted seriousness.
It could have been just another forgettable generic action movie, but to attach it to a distinctive franchise and then give it NO resemblance to the original does nobody any favours. So if you like The Saint as a character or a series, do yourself one: Pass this movie by....more info
- Super Thief on the edge of Retirement
Val Kilmer does an awesome job as a super Thief that has lots of looks and tricks up his sleave. Hired by a corrupt Russian businessman to steal a formula to Cold Fussion for a British scientest whom he not only makes a connection with but eventually falls in love with. The originally play a little cat and mouse and join sides to fight the corrupt Russian. In the end he gives it up for her love.
A really good and clean movie that will pull you into the story. One for the library....more info
- a good val kilmer flick...
i know, sounds like an oxy moron but even if you don't like val kilmer you'll like this flick. it's a slippery theif action movie with a semi decent love plot in it, it's got a great plot and the carefree humor of the main character is pretty good. might not be worth owning for everybody but i liked it enough to own. ...more info
- One of my favorites...
The Saint is a really fun movie, with lots of action and suspense. The romance between Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue is sometimes a bit cheezy, but overall its a creative spy movie that I have always liked and definitely reccomend....more info
- Holy mess!
Noyce is an extremely good director. He usually likes to dare the viewer with hard and challenging scripts(Henry and June, for instance) but somehow he failed in this case with this misfired character of the main character. The storyboard and the actor direction became the Saint in almost a cartoon network.
So, if the true purpose was simply to delight the young audience, the goal was made. But for the mature viewer, this film was a crossroad between the Avengers and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. Thre was chemistry sexual among Elizabeth Shue and Val Kilmer, but the whole structure of the plot does not resist a further analysis, the script possesses an extreme weakness, fragility and predictability.
It's hard to believe Noyce had directed one of the most relevant films in the decade as Patriot Games was, compared with this easily forgettable film that may work out for a boring pop corned rainy weekend.
- The ulitmate date movie.....
"The Saint" starring Val Kilmer, is perhaps Hollywood's best effort yet to produce an action film that is of interest to someone other than just 16 year old males. The story is witty and engaging with plenty of twists and turns to keep the viewer interest. The great disguises that were created for Val Kilmer's character and his techno gagetry add to the films "bond-esque" feel, while the romance with Elizabeth Shue's character is both engaging and central to the story, rather than an "eye candy" afterthought. It is the perfect date movie - something for both, car chases, suspense, things blowing up, and romance, humor and witty dialogue! Plus the movie features a KILLER soundtrack that both adds to the film and is a good listen on it's own. ...more info
- A MIXED BAG IN THE SCRIPT DEPARTMENT BUT STYLISH POPCORN FUN
Short story: Val Kimler makes this absolutely worth it.
Long story: Yes, it may be a weak throwback to the notorious Saint comics and all that. So what. The movie is modern, stylish and always keeps you on the edge with its elaborate pseudo-politics, intriguing ideas and rehashed romantic mishmash.
Whenever it starts to drag Kilmer turns up in a new disguise and that alone carries the film through to its next thrill. Not to mention that the chemistry between Shue and Kilmer is hot enough to sizzle a steak.
Add to that mix a high-octane Prodigy-induced sountrack and you've got a fun flick with an exciting roulette of action and suspense.
Highly recommended rental....more info
- THIS SAINT FAN LIKES IT
There are some who say that fans of Simon Templar should not see this film, but I say that Templar fans should make up their own minds. Some detractors accuse this Saint of being unrealistic and "corny", but fans of The Saint who dislike fictional escapism and "corny" entertainment should really find a new hero. There has always been a great deal of escapism and "corn" in The Saint canon, films, radio shows, comics, and TV shows. This Saint is certainly no worse, and in many ways is far superior, to other later day Saints like Ian Ogilvy or Simon Dutton. They each had their strong points, but Val Kilmer's Templar is by far a more intriguing character. I have very little knowledge of Val Kilmer's other work, but he's engaging and entertaining in this role. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that the origin of the character is revealed for the first time. Some have said this only takes place at the start of the film, but in reality the entire film IS the origin. It includes Simon's journey from criminal to Saint. His transformation, and three "miracles", kept me hooked from start to finish. All Simon Templar fans should give this one another look. This Saint is a damn good picture worth seeing....more info
- The Saint
I love the suspense of the chase scenes while they are in Russia....more info
- Still good
It's been many years since I've seen this movie. Quite surprised to see it's still good. I love the many characters Kilmer plays in this. Well done....more info
- One of my all-time favorites!
I agree totally with reviewer "Ryan", so I won't repeat him. I'll just add that if you are a fan of Val Kilmer you can't get better than this movie. It's very Kilmerish in every way! ...more info
- Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue have fusion
Freed from knowledge of this popular character and left to enjoy THE SAINT on it's own merits, I enjoyed this light escapist spy flick back in the 90s. And not having known previous portrayals of the merceny spy I liked Val Kilmer's turn as I happen to like just about anything he does. Plus I liked Elisabeth Shue. The plot is kinda weak, lacking in logic in the tradition of fantasy action films. Sometimes, for one reason or another, that is annoying and sometimes it isn't. It would be nice if the world had an energy source like cold fusion right now which is what Kilmer's thief is after. Buy it? Can't say I would, but if ya dig spy/thief movies or think Val Kilmer is a talented cat it's at least rental worthy.
- Good "spy" movie
The romance between Kilmer and Shue is extremely believable. The spy games and the basic plot are absurd, but the observer is able to suspend disbelief and join characters and creators alike on an imaginative journey of Intrigue, deception and discovery.
In Val Kilmer's repetoire, this is probably one of his most overlooked, if brilliant performances. Too, I think Shue is not given the credit as a serious actress that she deserves. Between her performance in this and Leaving Las Vegas, people should learn to take note of her.
A brilliant film that should have spawned a decent sequel but never did. ...more info
- A Favorite!
The average viewer rating herein should be proof enough that editorials like the one posted above and movie critics are in the minority. Val Kilmer did an excellent and believable job in this role. If you want a 1960's version of the Saint, watch the B/W version with Roger Moore. I liked that, but loved this movie.
This modern day version is on target. Elizabeth Shue (who steals my heart) is also awesome in her role. Val's character portray's Templar younger. Great addition! Simon not only changes his appearance but personas as well. This adds depth to Simon Templar's character. He is realistic. Totally believable. Bruce Willis did similar in The Jackal but was not called "quirky." Obviously the critics could not get past their own personal bias.
Remember, Star Wars received thumbs down from critics when it came out. I hope someone follows this up with a Saint II with Kilmer and Shue. Hopefully someone will look past the blind critics and to the people who matter...us and do this.
Buy this movie, you will not be disappointed.
Val and Elizabeth, if you are reading this these years after the movie which has withstood the test of time for a decade...Excellent Job! Thank you! As you can see from teh ratings, we love the movie!
- a heavenly film
I waited until recently to see The Saint. I'd heard that this was not like the novels and Saint fans wouldn't appreciate it. Nobody told me it was about the early days of The Saint. I watched it a few days ago with reluctance and was won over completely. What a wonderful movie! Shame on me for not watching this sooner. This is a grand adventure and Kilmer is quite good as the early Saint. Fans of The Saint should definitely see this film. I doubt that they will make a sequel, but I'd love to see Kilmer in The Saint In New York....more info
- Good fun
I always enjoy Val Kilmer in a role like this. He seems to be enjoying the character of the Saint, changing disguises and characters. This movie is not "great art" and it is perhaps a bit thin at times but it's also a lot of fun to watch....more info
- With Gas Prices Rising, I Hope The Saint Will Steal Us The Formula For Cold Fusion
"The Saint" is my type of movie. It is the perfect blend of action adventure, science fiction, and romance. Excellent performances are given by Val Kilmer as the international thief and Elizabeth Shue as the reclusive scientist. He is trying to steal her formula for cold fusion. Together, Kilmer and Shue sizzle. Their kisses are hot and passionate. There is plenty of suspense and intrigue as they are pursued by Russian henchmen. Beautiful London and Moscow scenery and a rocking soundtrack enhance the chases.
Val Kilmer delivers his best performance as the Saint and proves that he can hold a movie on his own. I was quite impressed with his ability to disguise his appearance and voice and pretend to be so many diverse personalities.
As gas prices continue to soar, I wish cold fusion was a reality. The implications of "The Saint" are frightening. Will the United States run out of heating fuel during the winter as Moscow does in "The Saint?" One can only hope that there will be someone like the Saint to steal us the formula for cold fusion.
If you like romantic adventure, then you must buy "The Saint" for your collection. The Saint will steal your secrets and your heart.
- Perhaps I can take you to my home?
This movie will always hold a dear place in my wife and I's DVD collection. Val Kilmer is the most underated actor today even though he is considered by american pop/bubble gum/Britney/fivty cent/tatoo on the lower back culture to be over the hill. After seeing him in Tombstone, who is a better actor? Oh, I know ... sorry can't think of any. Ice T, Vin Diesel? I rest my case. The old school which I enjoy watching (Pacino, Defoe, Gibson, Eastwood, Hackman, etc) won't be around forever. Who is there now? The next 20 year old pretty boy aimed at the 12-18 year old female crowd? The only other actors my age or younger I consider worthy are Depp, Colin Farrel, and the guy from the Bourne movies. All venting aside I am sure there are others I'm missing but you get my point. The Saint is a smart, action packed, fun movie that I'll enjoy watching again and again. You British and your fish and chips. Do you like it? What do you like about it? It was a gift from my mother... I was laughing thoughout the movie at the way the sardonic humor was used to keep things from being too serious. How about What a long beautiful cane you have to go with your beautiful eyes? stated by Kilmer in the 'cozy little German transit lounge'. Very funny stuff and a great movie for those that can recognize a great movie when they see one and not take themselves too serious. ...more info
- Fun Film
This is a nice Friday-night-wanna-watch-a-movie movie. Val Kilmer does a great job as a master of diguise in this spy thriller. ...more info
- A fun movie with 'real' characters
I first saw this movie in the theater in '97 and though I soon forgot the plot, I came away with a general sense of having enjoyed the film. So I grabbed the DVD when it was on sale for $5 and just watched it again. Now I remember why I enjoyed it so much the first time.
What I really liked:
1) The two lead characters are multi-dimensional.
Simon is nuanced, a bad guy with a code of ethics. I know, nothing new there. But in Simon's case, he seems unaware of his own ethics, only discovering he has them when he comes into contact with someone else whose moral code is so powerful (Dr. Russell). I love the moment when he starts to see the moral implications of what he's about to do---steal from someone he respects---and realizes he can't do it. A moment of redemption, all too quickly followed by another ethical quandary: he is forced to steal her formula anyway in order to protect her.
Dr. Emma Russell so closely resembles the many super intelligent people I've known that she resonates as genuine. Yes, it's very likely that a genius would have palpitations when faced with public speaking. Yes, it's also extremely likely that a genius would be socially awkward, shy, and suffer a lack of social self confidence. In addition, Ms. Shue portrays Dr. Russell with a bit of clumsiness, and sweet innocence and enthusiasm, making her an approachable and likeable heroine.
2) Dr. Russell's heart condition---as near as I can figure without it having been explicitly named---is accurately portrayed. Her symptoms and the need for a pill at specific times does match an actual rhythm disturbance (I have a relative with the same condition). As a discriminating viewer, I find little details like this a thrill, because so many Hollywood movies get sloppy.
3) The movie manages to tell it's story without unnecessary cursing, bloodshed and explicit sex. Sex is even part of the romance, but in a touching, understated way. I'm not against the use of these elements when they're germane to the story (as is the violence, for example, in Saving Private Ryan). However, many modern movies indulge too much in sex, violence and profanity just for audience titillation, or because it's thought to be expected. This film does it all tastefully, placing the violence and sex in the context of the story, and not the other way around.
4) Mr. Kilmer seems to relish playing such a diverse array of characters. I found his accents to be quite realistic and his adoption of each persona was fascinating. Watch his body language--it's distinctly different with each new 'identity.' That's what is called 'character acting,' and I think it's a true mark of talent when an actor can pull it off.
5) It's pure, escapist fantasy fun. You're not supposed to take this movie seriously. This was never meant to win an Academy Award. It's just a popcorn movie, but one with refreshingly rich characters and incredible backdrops in the capitals of Europe.
What I don't like about this movie is mostly nit-picky, but I'll throw it out there:
1) The science of cold fusion is ridiculous. The writers would have done better to not attempt to explain it, as anyone with an ounce of understanding will quickly see through Dr. Russell's 'explanation' at the start of the film. Despite this flaw, I do still greatly enjoy the story and I can still suspend belief enough to go along for the ride. I just wish they'd have treated this with as much care as the heart condition.
2) Speaking of the heart condition, it plays a major part through the first 2/3rds of the film, then abruptly disappears. A miracle cure?
3) Given that the main characters are well-drawn and believable, it's a bit bewildering that Dr. Russell so quickly forgives Simon for his betrayal. After one quick scene where she justifiably rebukes him, she then rather happily trots off with him and all is forgiven.
4) There are two 'false' endings. Just when you think you've reached the end ... you haven't. It goes on. And then on some more. I suppose this was the result of an inability of the writers to figure out how to get where they wanted to go.
As for the DVD itself, I wish there were more special features, at least some deleted scenes. Maybe for the Director's Cut version?...more info
- The Saint
I did see the original series, but still really liked this movie. Val Kilmer made a great Simon Templar! I thought his multiple personalities embodied in his disguises were well done. The accents, languages, and mannerisms were also what were expected of him. There was a nice balance of romance and suspense, which is what made this highly enjoyable.
- clever modern prequel
The folks who made this flick deserve credit. They cleverly decided to create a modern prequel to the classic character of The Saint. They didn't just ditch the character and steal the name. This isn't I SPY folks. This film IS The Saint. The modern prequel approach let them introduce a whole new audience to The Saint, but it also gave established Saint fans (like me) a rare glimpse at a part of Simon's life that I'd been wondering about for years: just how he got to be The Saint.
This is a great film!...more info
- you wont need the patience of a saint...this is GREAT
I have no complaints at all about this version of The Saint.
I grew up listening to The Saint on radio and reading about him. This film version doesn't do the character any harm. It tells the tale of his early days. On second thought I do have ONE complaint...where's the sequel?...more info
- I'm named after Saint...
Val Kilmer stars in this relatively light film about a thief-for-hire whose so close to reaching his target goal. But the end is never easy and Kilmer's character (the thief) finds out there may be more then just money at stake.
This film is pretty enjoyable, and has a nice basis that it goes from. For instance, Kilmer's character does not just change his name because he has too, but because of the anonyminity with which he has lived his whole life. Thus we are intrigued, and as his character humorously goes from disguise to disguise to escape "them" all, we just cannot help but get a little caught up.
As one reviewer mentioned, Kilmer fans should enjoy his different "selves", or saints of the moment if you will. Yet, this film is actually just good-natured, and a bit dramatic (action) at times too. So the fan cannot helped be pulled in a bit, at least to see, well, what is his name?...more info