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.