Theft movies are a lot of fun and filmgoers just love to root for the daring thief as he goes for his prize. Just take a look at films like Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job. Both of those were favorites thanks to plot and the quality of acting and proved to be popular enough to be remade. Twenty or thirty years from now will the same thing be said about Entrapment? I think not.
This pre-millennia high tech action piece is the product of Jon Amiel (The Man Who Knew Too Little and The Core). As the film gets going it's easy to say that it forsakes a quality script and plot to focus on the fact that Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones are eating up the camera time. Granted both churn out entertaining performances but when you dig deeper and looking for something more substantial than a pair of faces you are left with a somewhat garbled tale of theft, trust, and lust.
Zeta-Jones plays Gin Baker, an insurance agent who is out to track down famed thief Mac MacDougal (Connery). She is steadfast in her belief that it was Mac who stole a Rembrandt painting though we quickly discover that it was indeed her who did the thieving. Unfortunately it wasn't much of a mystery because Zeta-Jones plays Gin coyly to the point of transparency. Almost a little too easily Gin lures Mac into her "trap" and works with her insurance agency to frame him for the theft. All the while she attempts to play Mac for the fool and get his help to steal an ancient Chinese mask worth $40 million.
As the sloppy plot moves forward we learn that Gin is in deep over her head with a rather large debt; thus the thefts. With her connections she cooks up the biggest heist of all time and uses it to entice Mac into helping her. For some reason (we never really get insight into Mac's mind) he goes along with her knowing full well that she's also working to turn him in and knows that he knows. It's never quite clear who is playing who for the fool and to be honest it gets confusing to the point of annoyance. In any event the reason to enjoy the film is the mindlessness of it all and the performance of its two lead actors.
You really do have to shut your brain off at the door in order to appreciate the latter part of the picture involving the "big job". With fear surrounding the Y2K bug spreading the globe, the largest bank in Malaysia (that handles just about all of Asia's transactions) is performing tests galore to ensure a glitch-free transition to the new millennia. Gin learns about a 30 second window where all security systems will be shut off and sees that as their opportunity to pull eight billion dollars out right from under their noses. A lofty goal to be sure and with the clock ticking there is a fair amount of suspense looming over head regarding whether or not they'll actually pull it off.
Believe it or not I actually had a good time watching Entrapment when it first came out and once again on this blu-ray release. The movie's plot is a mess at times and I think it's safe to say that Connery and Zeta-Jones are not used to their full potential. Once you get past all that you'll find a simple and enjoyable movie that has enough quirks to endear itself to you. Forget all of the confounded relationship nonsense and the "I know that you know that I know" game and you'll walk away with a positive impression. Still, you have to shut your brain off and munch away on a bowl of popcorn to get to that positive stage though. This is the kind of movie that is easily picked apart but under the right circumstances is worth checking out.
Presented on a 25GB Single Layer blu-ray disc, Entrapment's newest release is a big step up in quality from the Standard Special Edition DVD from 2000. With 1080p HD resolution and MPEG2 encoding at 18 MPBS the picture for this film has never looked better.
Since this is a crime-laden caper you can expect a great amount of shadow and darkly lit scenes. For the most part these sections of Entrapment offer a good deal of depth and contrast. Colors remain vibrant on the whole and throughout the entirety of the film there is little that appears murky or unattractive. The image remains grain free and I didn't notice any compression while watching. The only real flaw that sprung up now and then was a fair degree of softness. The overall sharpness of the film was great but there were many scenes where the picture would turn soft for seemingly no reason. Still, this release is a definite step up from the Standard DVD and uses blu-ray technology well.
While there are a few audio options available on the disc the first and foremost is easily the only one worth listening to. Presented in English with a DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio track Entrapment's blu-ray release is once again a step up from the Standard DVD. The sense of immersion that comes from the lossless track is subdued with implementation being evident only with certain effects. Most of the dialogue, music, and action find their place on the front channel but the all around clarity of the track is impressive. French and Spanish tracks are available on this disc as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
Straight from the Standard Special Edition DVD we receive the Audio Commentary by Director Jon Amiel on this disc. The content is rather lightweight when you get right down to it and compare it to other commentaries. He mostly discusses what it was like working with Connery and Zeta-Jones but breaks into talk about various scenes at certain times. I would have been more interested if he was talking about the film's actual production so as it stands this is a mediocre commentary at best. The only other feature on this disc is a high definition trailer for the movie.
Entrapment is a glossy, sexy, and mindless romp through a world filled with high-tech theft and gadgetry. Connery and Zeta-Jones make a good pair but considering that the plot seems to have been made strictly to get the both of them on the screen it's easily overlooked. Many holes riddle the script and the sense of drama is nowhere near as good as it could have been if handled differently. Still, the movie proves to be entertaining enough to warrant a rental and the blu-ray's presentation quality receives relatively high marks.
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