The character of Simon Templar debuted in a series of books first published in the 1920’s and running through the 1980’s. There have been many film and television adaptations, but my favorite is this film version from the nineties.
Raised in an orphanage, young John Rossi renames himself after his childhood heroes, the Templar Knights. While there he develops a unique set of skills, but also witnesses a tragedy which haunts him.
As an adult Simon Templar is a thief who uses his skills for his own benefit and the highest bidder. In his line of work, he changes his appearance as often as his identity and his name. Simon is personable and clever, but forms no attachments and calls no place home. Determined to see his bank account reach a comfortable fifty million dollars, before he retires, he takes one last job. Unfortunately, it happens to be for the Russian billionaire, Ivan Tretiak. On a previous job, Simon had a run-in with Tretiak’s son Ilya, whom he left with disfiguring facial scars.
Tretiak hires Simon to steal a formula for clean, inexpensive energy. This formula is a scientific breakthrough developed by the English scientist Emma Russell and her late father.
Simon is surprised to find that Emma is not what he expected. Though she is a brilliant scientist, she is also rather naive and a romantic at heart. Simon determines the best and safest way to steal the formula is to seduce her. But in the process, he is charmed by her innocence and her willingness to release her formula publicly, instead of selling it for a profit. When Tretiak threatens Emma’s life, Simon is forced to make a decision. And when Emma discovers Simon’s secret, she puts herself in danger to confront him.
For my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.