What the hell is cold fusion?

An elaborate and magical power source?

A bad greeting from your girlfriend?

A highly nutritious snack food?

Whatever it is, it's discovered just about every other week in the movies. I mean really, if scientists are trying so hard to find this stuff, they need to just get out more.

The latest discovery of Cold Fusion is in the Val Kilmer / Elisabeth Shue Spy Bonanza, The Saint. Based on yet another old TV show that I've never seen, Val plays a British or American or who really knows master thief who steals master things. Shue, who is now officially a total babe, plays the American scientist who has discovered this elusive gift, and between the two of them, they try to save Russia.

Yeah, I'm still wondering about that one myself.

I mean heck, if it's so great, bring the damn formula home and power up Chicago or Nashville. Heck, my electric bill's a little high this month (Stupid Frivolous All-Night Playboy Channel Marathons), let's juice up LA on a crate of Papayas and a Fruit Roll-up.

OK, let's be real about something. I went to college, I took college science courses, I've seen and met lots of men and women working in the hard sciences.

Ain't none of them ever looked like Lizzy Shue.

That aside, it's just as well they cast Shue instead of, say, one of the Gabor sisters. I much prefer to watch Elisabeth strip down into her undies.

Oh yeah, and Val's cute, if you like that sort of thing.

This is the movie Val did instead of the next Batman movie. This is the franchise he would love to carry. And you know what, I'd see them. I'll see the Batman movies too, but that's besides the point. Here, at least, is an interesting character, portrayed admirably by Kilmer in a solid if a little confusing action pic.

Val gets a pat on the back, I mean he could have just made another Island of Dr. Moreau, and that would have been bad.

There are two main areas of angst for me in this movie. The first is the music. It's cut weird. I mean really weird. Like two tracks will be playing at once and fighting for your attention. When Val and Shue get it on, you hear emotional operatic music on top of some Tori Amos-sounding lesbian folk chick. Not a very strong combination.

One of my fellow movie-goers felt that this duality in music was there to strengthen the duality in Val's character. That the character of The Saint is having an identity crisis just as the music is struggling for identity.

That movie-goer is wrong. It's just bad editing.

The second thing that irks me is that there are a whole lot of endings. This movie ends four or five times. Tale is, they had one ending, and it tested horribly, so they filmed another ending. Fine, they do it all the time in Hollywood. Indiana Jones died in the original ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but audiences said his death made the upcoming sequels a little hard to swallow, so they changed it.

Thing is, usually, when then they create a new ending, they take out the old one. Not here. Not by a long shot.

So don't get up until the credits begin to roll, then and only then, can you finally leave.

Aside from that, I want to make one thing clear. I liked this movie. It was a lot of fun. Did it always make sense? No. Did it jump from time to time with leaps of logic? Yes. Did I have fun watching the film? Yes.

So The Saint gets 3 2/7 Babylons. It's been a while since I've used a 1/7th of a Babylon, so I figure it's time.

Editor's Note:

The Self-Made Critic is taken with Elisabeth Shue. He's had us downloading nude pictures of her off the internet all week long. Most of these pictures look very, very fake. I mean very, very fake.

Why don't these people take more care into creating their false porn? I mean come on, one of the pictures had her head on a black woman's body! How dumb do they think we are?

Of course Mr. Self-Made just figured she had a really deep tan that day. We tend to encourage his little fantasy world.