The Saint (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Saint (1997)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The Saint is watchable thanks to Kilmer and Shue, but the muddled screenplay stretches credulity.

Movie Info

Based on the popular novels about that other suave, globe-trotting man of action, this genre picture from director Phillip Noyce mixed romance and character development with dangerous stunts, geopolitical intrigue, and a variety of elaborate disguises, resulting in an uneven stew of a spy thriller. Val Kilmer is Simon Templar, a classy, cunning master thief and "man of a thousand faces" who cribs his phony names from those of obscure saints and sells his illegal services to the highest bidder. Hired by an ambitious Russian politician (Rade Serbedzija) to steal the formula for cold fusion, Templar falls in love with Dr. Emma Russell (Elisabeth Shue), the frail Oxford scientist who has unlocked the secret of the process. Back in Moscow, the thief debates whether to betray his new love or the powerful madman who is paying him millions, until he discovers that his client is concealing oil reserves that could save his freezing people. Often seen as an also-ran to the legendary James Bond, Templar, the creation of author Leslie Charteris, in fact predated the first Bond novel by decades and probably inspired Ian Fleming in his creation of the debonair agent. ~ Karl Williams, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action & Adventure, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Jonathan Hensleigh, Wesley Strick
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 6, 1998
Runtime:
Paramount

Cast

Val Kilmer
as Simon Templar
Elisabeth Shue
as Dr. Emma Russell
Rade Serbedzija
as Ivan Tretiak
Valery Nikolaev
as Ilya Tretiak
Henry Goodman
as Dr. Lev Botvin
Alun Armstrong
as Chief Insp. Teal
Michael Byrne
as Tretiak's Aide, Vere...
Yevgeny Lazarev
as President Karpov
Lev Prigunov
as Gen. Sklarov
Charlotte Cornwell
as Insp. Rabineau
Emily Mortimer
as Woman on Plane
Lev Prygunov
as General Sklarov
Lucija Serbedzija
as Russian Prostitute
Adam Smith
as Young Simon Templar
Pat Laffan
as Catholic Priest
Evgeniy Lazarev
as President Karpov
Velibor Topic
as Skinhead
Yegor Pozenko
as Scratchface
Michael Marquez
as Boy in Orphanage
Lorelei King
as TV Reporter
Alla A. Kazanskaya
as Old Russian Lady
Ronnie Letham
as Old Russian Man
Tusse Silberg
as Prostitute's Mother
Peter Guinness
as Frankie's Curator
Stefan Gryff
as President's Aide
Malcolm Tierney
as Russian Doctor
Stephen Tiller
as Russian Policeman
Christopher Rozycki
as Russian Chief of Pol...
Etela Pardo
as President Karpov's W...
Nikolai Veselov
as Red Square Tramp
David Schneider
as Rat Club Comedian
Oxana Popkova
as Ilya's Girlfriend
Agnieszka Liggett
as Rat Club Party Girl
Lydia Zovkic
as Rat Club Beauty
Alexander Tutin
as Russian Colonel
Vadim Stepashkin
as Russian Soldier
Ravil Isyanov
as Tretiak Guard
Alexander Kadanyov
as Tretiak Security Gua...
Petar Vidovic
as Tretiak's Builder
Susan Porrett
as Orphanage Nun
Cliff Parisi
as Pub Waiter
Richard Cubison
as Customs Officer
Tony Armatrading
as Customs Officer
Benjamin Whitrow
as Chairman at Oxford
Julian Rhind-Tutt
as Young Student
Kate Isitt
as Second Student
Barbara Jefford
as Academic Woman
Sean O'Kane
as Running Student
Lucy Akhurst
as Policewoman
Nigel Clauzel
as Marine Guard
Eric Loren
as Embassy Official
William Hope
as State Department Off...
Michael Cochrane
as Cold Fusion Broker
Ginny Holder
as Jamaican Video Girlf...
AKIKO
as Japanese Video Girlf...
Melissa Knatchbull
as English Video Girlfr...
Caroline Lee Johnson
as Private Hotel Recept...
Alexander Kadanyov
as Tretiak Security Gua...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Saint

Critic Reviews for The Saint

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (16)

A generic suspenser that doesn't taste bad at first bite but becomes increasingly hard to swallow.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

This insufferable romance-adventure includes vague comedy as well as unintentional humor, and its target audience seems to be preadolescents who won't notice the calculated enthusiasm with which it sidesteps sexuality.

Full Review… | May 20, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Eminently forgettable.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Love redeems this profiteer; it also renders him conventional.

March 6, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Reinvention in the hands of Hollywood is seldom cause for celebration.

Full Review… | June 26, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

There isn't a contemporary film actor more crafty than Val Kilmer -- or one who reveals less of his true self. That's why Kilmer is so perfectly cast as Simon Templar, the master thief and elusive disguise artist of The Saint.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Saint

Based on a character created back in 1928, this film tells the story of an expert thief and master of disguise who, in this telling, has all sorts of aliases, all of them named after Catholic saints. The Saint gets involved in all sorts of troubles when his latest caper sees him falling in love and caught up in some nutty geopolitical issues in Russia.

The concept and ideas, mostly that of using saint names as aliases, are pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, the way thigns are executed here leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Noyce has experience with this sort of thing, so maybe most of the blame goes to the script and the specific story. Some of it's cool, but it seems a little lifeless and dull.

That said, I still found the film to be entertaining and watchable, even though it isn't really that good. It kinda comes close though.

The love story is a little hokey, and some of this stuff overall is kinda silly, but it's fun, and definitely had potential to be awesome. Val Kilmer is fun to watch use all kinds of different wigs, accents, and costumes, though it amazes me how many of the characters get fooled by some of his disguises, especially since some of them are really not all that great. He does a good job though. Shue is okay, or at least servicable, though she kidna comes off as a little silly, which clashes with some of the more dramatic and seriosu thriller elements at hand.

Actually, I think I just figured it out. Part of the issue here is the tone. It's uneven, and unsucessfully tries to mix levity with drama. In a lot of ways, this is like the Bond films, although some of those manage the mixing far better than others. Maybe I'm just underwhelmed by all of this because it didn't seem all that fresh and exciting.

Like I said though, it did entertain me, and I was never bored. See it if you like, but don't expect it to be the real gem it should have been.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

The Saint, for me is a borderline decent action film. The ideas in the film, are good, but poorly executed, and feel kinda cheesy, yet there's something appealing the film too. The Saint for all its flaws, is a fun film to watch. The acting leaves a lot to be desired, but somehow the film is entertaining enough to be a passable action film. I agree that this film is uneven, but there are far worst films than The Saint out there. Val Kilmer give a decent performance, but one that is forgettable as well. The Saint is a cheesy action film that you have to watch when you want to be a mindless movie night where you pick something that doesn't have much plot. The Saint is a cool decent flick, but because there a lot of flaws with the film. Especially that now, watching the film today, the film looks dated all around. The film hasn't aged well. I was surprised at the names involved in this film, and considering that this film isn't good or excellent, it's just decent I was surprised to see actors like Michael Byrne in this. The Saint for all it's imperfection is entertaining, I liked it, but I wouldn't call it a good film. Like I said earlier, it's a decent flick at best. Nothing special on screen

TheDudeLebowski65
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Good cast but movie is disappointing.

thmtsang
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

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