Entrapment

"Weak"

Entrapment Review


The first sign of trouble in "Entrapment" comes in the very first scene, which is labeled "16 days before the Millennium," betraying that the climax will be -- you guessed it -- dependent on the Y2K bug.

As it turns out, the climax depends on something even more ridiculous -- that the biggest bank in the world would still be Y2K testing on December 31.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

"Entrapment" is a burglar-and-babe caper picture with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the genre's requisite roles of aging thief and scrutinizing vixen. The plot here is that Zeta-Jones is an insurance investigator (and possibly a thief herself), who goes undercover to propose to Connery a couple irresistibly risky jobs in an attempt to catch him red-handed.

Why the insurance company cares more about setting him up for the big sting than they do about recovering clients' stolen property is never addressed. But that kind of oversight opens a floodgate of distracting disappointments and nonsensical developments that get exponentially sillier with each heist.

The picture opens with the best scene in the movie -- a gadget-laden burglar attempting a daring skyscraper break-in that starts with a suicidal roof-top dive halted by a computerized tether at just the right floor, where windows, then Rembrants, are removed.

But in the very next scene "Entrapment" starts to deteriorate. Zeta-Jones is introduced as Virgina Baker, a sharp insurance dick with the worst fake American accent in recent motion picture history (for the record, she's Welsh). She pins the caper on the infamous Robert MacDougal (Connery) and sets out to spring a trap by dangling before him a challenging high-security museum job with her as his partner.

So she flies to London, where they meet when Mac breaks into her hotel room after spotting her following him. She's naked and he's...well, he's Sean Connery, and sparks are supposed to fly. But there's no liveliness to their scripted sexual tension in this scene or in any that follow.

Connery is on auto pilot, but he just can't help but be dead sexy and deadly charming, even as he pushes 70 years old. Zeta-Jones, on the other hand, seems to have exhausted her come-hither seductiveness in "The Mask of Zorro" and has nothing left to give here. She's still preposterously gorgeous, of course, but boy is she dull.

Director Jon Amiel ("Copycat," "Sommersby") flaunts Zeta-Jones' tight bod as she learns to navigate alarm laser beams like an erotic ballerina in a labored and lengthy training sequence at Mac's renovated Scottish castle. Then they hit the museum and swipe a priceless Chinese mask.

Having accomplished that, Virgina temps Mac with an even bigger score -- emptying the reserve of the International Clearance Bank while it off-lines for a very last-minute Y2K update.

The mask is traded to an ambiguously gay (for no discernible reason) Malaysian mafioso (Maury Chaykin) who gives them the info they need to hit the bank's local headquarters, located at the top of twin skyscrapers, setting the film up for a big stunt finish.

Where the opening skyscraper gig was somewhat original, in the climax everything depends on lax security systems, all-purpose black box gadgets with telephone keypads on them, ventilation shafts big enough to crawl through and the absurd concept that a major bank wouldn't be able to tell if it was missing $8 billion or just $7 billion.

So incestuous and bound by tradition are movies in this genre (masked balls, September-May romances) that it's impossible to watch "Entrapment" without being reminded of its much better predecessors like "To Catch a Thief" and "The Thomas Crown Affair" (coincidentally being re-made by another James Bond vet, Pierce Brosnan).

Sadly, this entry in the field is never for a moment truly exciting, romantic or mysterious, and director Amiel never gets a bead on the characters, who are underwritten and inconsistent.

Connery has his moments. He's actually best when he steps out of his super-seducer character to pose as a dorky tourist while casing the bank. And Ving Rhames is something of a relief in a calling card role as a one of Mac's compatriots, an orange juice-addicted, leather-clad tough with an ironically dimpled smile.

But the manufactured animosity between Mac and Virgina has no vitality and there's no organic flow to their relationship, which is supposed to carry the film between break-ins -- which themselves aren't anything to write home about.

File this one under "nice try."



Entrapment

Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th April 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $87.7M

Budget: $66M

Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Taurus Films, Fountainbridge Films, Regency Enterprises

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Virginia Baker, as Robert MacDougal, as Aaron Thibadeaux, as Hector Cruz, as Conrad Greene, as Haas, Terry O'Neill as Quinn, Madhav Sharma as Security Chief, as Chief of Police, Tim Potter as Millennium Man, Aaron Swartz as Cruz's Man, William Marsh as Computer Technician, Tony Xu as Banker, Rolf Saxon as Director, Tom Clarke Hill as Operator, as Technician, Sai-Kit Yung as Doctor, Ravin J. Ganatra as 1st Security Guard, Rhydian Jai-Persad as 2nd Security Guard, Hari Dhillon as 3rd Security Guard, Eric Meyers as Waverly Technician

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.