What could have been a cool concept movie buckles under an uninspired script and some treacherous miscasting. Director Philip Noyce, in his effort to deconstruct “The Saint,” destroys the character’s mystique and allure by turning Simon Templar into something he’s not; James Bond with a monogamous heart. Part of the charm of George Sander’s 1930’s movies and Roger Moore’s BBC TV series, that made Templar an icon of suave, was his flamboyant playboy mannerisms and knack for chivalrious high jinks in the face of danger. Kilmer’s Saint contains none of these characteristics, he’s only concerned in seeing his bank account rise to the 50 million mark, until he meets Elizabeth Shue’s cold fusion scientist, and even then he sells her out when his client doubles the master thief’s pay check.
Unlike Moore’s Templar, Kilmer sneaks in and out of trouble using high tech gadgets and disguise. It’s fun to see Kilmer take on different persona’s and accents, but he is so obvious, how can the bad guys miss him? At one point he even rekindles his Jim Morrison role, as an eccentric poet, leather pants and all. Then there is poor Shue, who runs around giggling like a school girl and wearing thigh highs under her lab coat. How could Noyce do this to her? The rest of the plot has something to do with greedy Russian capitalists who want Shue’s formula, but the film lulls in eddies of fatty, romantic dialogue. Shue and Kilmer have seen better days and for Noyce this barely tops “Sliver.” This “Saint” ain’t going to Heaven.