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Entrapment (1999)

Review by Justin Felix

Story by Ronald Bass and Michael Hertzberg.
Screenplay by Ronald Bass and William Broyles Jr.
Directed by Jon Amiel.
Starring Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Ving Rhames.
Rated PG-13 (contains violence, sensuality, and profanity) 112 mins.

Synopsis: An aging master art thief, his supplier, and a young, buxom security consultant are all not who they first appear to be (or are they?) in this convoluted mess involving a risky heist during the millennium.

Comments: This movie was boring. Plain and simple.

Entrapment should not have been boring. It stars Sean Connery, who can still carry an action film despite his age, Catherine Zeta-Jones, a likeable enough film presence, and Ving Rhames, ultra-cool star of Pulp Fiction and Mission: Impossible. It takes full advantage of the Y2K computer bug fears (a current "hot topic" in the news) in its storyline, which is set at the end of 1999. It has some genuinely well-staged action sequences. So, what went wrong? Plenty, unfortunately.

The major problem with Entrapment is its script. It has a been-there, done-that feel to it. Nothing seems particularly inventive or original, so the whole movie lacks suspense and drags (it runs nearly two hours). The screenwriters, for example, periodically use a countdown to the millennium as a means of transition between scenes (i.e. "4 days to the Millennium"). This device was used much more effectively in the overlooked sci-fi film Strange Days. The characters are not who they appear to be at the beginning, which is neat at first but the device wears thin once the umpteenth "surprise" revelation is made. Entrapment, in other words, relies too heavily on the audience not knowing what each character's true motive is, resulting in a convoluted story which leaves many scratching their heads in confusion.

The star power here is quite strong, but the viewer can't help but feel the actors are wasted in this production. Sean Connery is given such mind-numbing lines as "Never trust a naked woman." Ving Rhames' character seems like an afterthought; he's not developed at all. The camera zooms in frequently and leeringly at Catherine Zeta-Jones's tight wardrobe. This, in and of itself, is not bad, but, after a while, it has a juvenile feel to it. At least the Species movies hold no bones about the fact that they're exploiting the female body. Entrapment does the same under the thin disguise of plot development (Sean Connery supposedly falls in love with the girl while watching her, in tights, arc and pivot around laser beams).

The tagline for this movie reads "The trap is set." It sure is, on those who spent money to see this movie. Entrapment really isn't that bad; it is watchable. I would suggest, however, one waits until this is on cable or television to see it.


(Out of five)

All of Justin's film reviews are archived at The Internet Movie Database

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