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Entrapment

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at 800]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
Movie:

"Entrapment" is one of those movies where you almost have to let your eyes do the work. What you hear is so bad that it ruins any enjoyment your eyes may be having. "Entrapment" stars Sean Connery as Mac Macdougal, a master art thief who, although he's passing the 60 year old mark, is still athletic and smart enough to outsmart any security force. Catherine Zeta-Jones co-stars as "Gin" Baker, an Insurance Agent who makes it her mission to catch the crafty crook.

It may sound good so far, but just wait until you hear the dialogue. "Entrapment" is one of those films where the plot has decent potential. It's just that the dialogue is so bad that the film stops cold nearly every time someone opens their mouth. Writer Ron Bass("Stepmom") throws nearly every cliche and conventional "action" line at the audience; the conversations between Connery and Zeta-Jones reminded me of the conversations in Connery's last film, "The Avengers"; all laughable attempts at witty one-liners.

Soon, the young woman has found her way into a "partnership" between herself and Mac; the two team up and we expect them to go into action. Apparently, we expected wrong. Instead of going to action, the film has Mac training Gin for what seems like forever. The two talk back and forth about "the rules" of being a thief with banter that is supposed to be entertaining I guess, but the more I heard, the more bored I became. This middle section moves at a snail's pace and it doesn't help that the actors seems to take this dialogue so seriously.

The two eventually do go on a couple of adventures; one rather small one followed by the major ending, which I will go into more detail on later. The action during these scenes are rather thrilling, especially during the final action sequence. What it doesn't have though, are the thrilling little details that heighten the tension, like "Mission Impossible" did when Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt character decended into a room where he had to be completely quiet. "Entrapment" doesn't have those entertaining "thief" sequences; it does have some rather neat action, but except for a minute or two, even the largest of effects here seems rather conventional.

The plot does wake-up rather nicely towards the end where the film does throw in a few nice plot twists. It's unfortunate that the structure leading up to the passable last act is such a slow mess of nonsense that the few nice bits towards the end are far too little, far too late.

"Entrapment" cost eighty million dollars. It certainly doesn't show up that well on-screen. It seems like most of that money went to pay the talent involved because, aside from the ending, there didn't seem to be that much going on in this film. There's some nice FX work, but when a film like "The Matrix" costs 60 million, this film doesn't seem to get a lot from the money spent. It also doesn't get a lot from the crew involved. Director Jon Amiel("The Man Who Knew Too Little") seems to have no idea how to pace the film, most of which moves at a snail's pace. He also brings little style to a film that certainly could have used more than a touch of it; "Entrapment" feels rather bland, even during the film's larger stunt scenes. The final action sequence has the pair running from a security force through giant twin towers in Kuala Lumpur. I know I was supposed to be amazed by all of the running around, but I simply wasn't. I was so bored by the first half that I doubt anything could have interested me by this point of the film.

The cinematography is done by Phillip Meheux, who also filmed the Bond film "Goldeneye", and the opening theft sequence set in a skyscraper feels rather similar to the opening sequence of that film. Otherwise, his work here is nice, but it doesn't have a strong sense of style or edge. Special Effects work is very nicely done, supervised by Neil Corbould, who has also worked on such films as "The 5th Element".

Overall, "Entrapment" has the basics for an entertaining mix; it certainly has two great lead actors. Where it fails is to give these two great actors anything interesting to do or say. It's unfortunate to say, but I certainly felt "trapped" in the theater during the very long 110 minutes of "Entrapment", a film that fails unfortunately, simply because of truly poor dialogue and a director who stages even the biggest of stunts without any style or excitement.

The DVD

VIDEO:
This is a very good transfer from Fox, and although it's unfortunately non-anamorphic, the image quality is fairly impressive throughout, with images that are consistently if not sharp, at least very crisp. Detail is very good throughout. Colors are natural, nicely saturated and vibrant, as well. Flesh tones remain accurate and natural, and contrast is very good. Fox has been releasing discs that do present enjoyable, if not quite perfect image quality lately such as "Pushing Tin", "Ravenous" and "Midsummer Night's Dream", which is due the week after this disc is released. "Entrapment" is another in that recent line. It's unfortunate though, because when Fox does do an anamorphic transfer like they did with "The Thin Red Line", they do some mighty impressive work.

The only flaw I saw were one or two instances of shimmering, other than that, this is a clean looking image. I doubt there will be too many complaints about this image, but it certainly seems to me that this would have looked improved had it been anamorphic.

SOUND:
This is a very good, although not too terribly agressive sound mix. The score is clear and crisp and sound effects placement is quite good. The surrounds do go to work well throughout the picture to provide some effects and ambience. When the picture does get going, "Entrapment"'s audio becomes nicely enveloping. What is here is nothing to complain about; rich, dynamic sounding audio that fills the room nicely. Dialogue seems a little harsh early on in the movie, but later scenes seem to fare better.

MENUS:: Highly enjoyable animated main menus with scenes from the movie as well as animation when a selection is made. Fox has at least been putting a little bit of an additional effort into the main menus on their DVD, and that's something I like to see because the menus are really a wonderful way to introduce the viewer into the movie.

EXTRAS: The trailers for "Rising Sun" and "Entrapment". The DVD for "Rising Sun" also includes the trailer for "Entrapment".



Final Thoughts I'd recommend a rental. The DVD isn't bad, but the movie certainly isn't good.


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