The Saint--A Lovable Rogue and a Scientist Battle the Russians for Cold Fusion

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Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue race against time and the Russians for a cold fusion formula

The Saint movie was a pleasant surprise. I first rented this film out but as soon as I'd seen it, wanted a copy for my home library. Val Kilmer is brilliant in his role as Simon Templar an identity-changing daredevil. His acting ability shines as he assumes the different personas of dead saints. His childhood years and a childhood love haunt him as he lives an existence on the edges of society.

Elizabeth Shue portrays Emma, a shy yet brilliant scientist who also was scarred from her early experiences at a Catholic school and memories of a boy she loved.

The two meet up because Simon has been hired by the Russian Mafia to steal the formula for cold fusion, a formula Emma is near to completing. What should have been simple becomes complicated when he falls for Emma. He's torn between a sizable pay-off, if he delivers the goods, and the pretty and vulnerable scientist whose innocence is captivating. The two are misfits, and as such, are drawn to each other.

What makes this film work so well is the humor and one-liners throughout the film. The Russian crime boss Tretiak admires Templar's daring. The crime boss's son, IIya is the perfect cold-blooded killer who has no patience for the Simon's tactics or flair for criminal behavior. What makes this so funny is that Templar taunts both Tretiak and Ilia, much to Ilya's dismay.

Favorite One-Liners

  • And since you know that I'm not armed and I know that you're not armed, we can all fall in love and no one gets hurt.
  • Now that the people are nicely beginning to freeze, Tretiak must sweep in from the wings with a miracle.
  • Give me constancy and give me chastity, but don't give it yet.
  • You have to be a very good, and usually very dead person to become a saint.
  • If you think that by giving cold fusion to the world and giving up unimaginable wealth you'll make us happy, you're right.

Simon and Emma Join Forces

Templar has no family and no home and the name, Simon Templar, is fictitious. He becomes known in the underworld and to authorities as The Saint for his use of the names of Catholic saints. He is one of the world's most successful and elusive thieves, outwitting the police again and again.

He takes what he hopes will be his last job before he retires from crime and is hired by the Russian Mafia to steal a formula for cold fusion from scientist Emma Russell who is working on it at Oxford. While it looks to be straight-forward--he'll wow the pretty scientist to get the formula--things go awry when falls for her. Now, it becomes a race against time, as Simon tries to protect her and save her life.

As things heat up, Simon and Emma join forces to outwit Tretiak and his cronies and give cold fusion to the world. And, of course, in the process they rediscover each other.

Simon Talking to Emma

"You have to be a very good, and usually very dead person to become a saint."

The Saint Main Characters

  • Simon Templar (Val Kilmer)
  • Dr. Emma Russell (Elizabeth Shue)
  • Tretiak (Rade Serbedzija)
  • Ilya (Valeriy Nikolaev)

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Simon Templar Quoting Saint Augustan

"Give me chastity and give me constancy, but do not give it yet."

Modern Version Has Fans

This version of the Saint has been criticized by the critics for not staying true to the context of author Leslie Charteris's popular character, the Saint, which was more suited to audiences of that particular time. This modern version is a truer reflection of what modern audiences want and Kilmer's Saint is more likeable because he's a rogue. Kilmer fans will not be disappointed in his expert interpretation and handling of multiple personas.

This movie combines so many good elements: suspense (the beginning reminds one of a Pink Panther film), psychological elements (seen in flashbacks), disguises and gadgets, humor, romance, action, and a good subplot about the enduring quality of first love and belief that magic can happen in people's lives.

One of my favorite movies and I highly recommend it.

© 2012 Athlyn Green

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Comments 2 comments

Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green 3 years ago from West Kootenays Author

Yes, I was aware of this. This demonstrates that a good concept can be spun into different versions.

Val does an excellent job of the different saints in this but, of course, this is to each person's preference.

Thanks for stopping by.


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 3 years ago from Syracuse, NY

I was intrigued by your article. Were you aware that The Saint was a tv series in the 1960s that starred Roger Moore of James Bond fame? The series ran for 6 seasons. There was also a series of tv movies in 1989 that starred Simon Dutton and a new version this year made for television. Not being much of a Val Kilmer fan, I'd recommend any of those versions over the bastardized Hollywood version any day. Nice hub, though.

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