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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Entrapment

Starring: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Director: Jon Amiel
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: April 1999
Genres: Action, Romance, Thriller

*Also starring: Ving Rhames, Will Patton, Maury Chaykin, Kevin McNally, Terry O'Neill, David Yip

Review by Harvey Karten
No Rating Supplied

One way that critics' opinions of movies often differ from those of fans is that regular folks are often content with excitement and romance while reviewers are obsessed with originality and believability. "Entrapment" has been getting mixed notices, with many critics complaining that little is credible, while vast crowds of moviegoers credit the film for its style. Surprisingly, Roger Ebert goes along with the latter group, saying in his review that though "Entrapment" has a "preposterous plot [there is] so much chemistry between attractive actors that we don't care....I didn't believe a second of it, and I didn't care that I didn't." The Great Man is on the money this time: "Entrapment," which recalls stylish vehicles like "Topkapi" and "To Catch a Thief," is neither original nor plausible, but then, is anything done by the successful James Bond series feasible? Logical action is not the point with such a genre. Technique is everything, and this movie is adept in various spheres. Note Phil Meheux's startling photography (especially the night scenes and the vista that contrasts a dirt-poor Malaysian neighborhood with the high- rise palaces of Kuala Lumpur's business sector). Let the special chemistry between its two principal performers register: director John Amiel will have you wondering whether the 69-year-old Sean Connery's attention to the 29-year-old Catherine Zeta-Jones is sexual or paternal.

Sean Connery (who could still play Bond, for my money) takes on the role of Mac, a wealthy thief who now steals not for the money but for the excitement. With a particular expertise in making off with the works of the masters in art museums, he turns his skills to stealing a Chinese mask. When Gin (Catherine Zeta-Jones), an insurance investigator, seeks to entrap him by tempting him to take on a daring assignment, Mac at first does not trust her but agrees to make her a partner in the theft of a $40 million Chinese mask on exhibit in Scotland. With his partner Thibadeaux (Ving Rhames), he is later to move on to the attempt the biggest haul in history: the lifting of eight billion dollars in corporate deposits, while Gin's boss, Hector Cruz (Will Patton) ventures to capture him.

If you're wondering why Ms. Zeta-Jones is depicted in an acrobatic pose in the posters, the posture is not simply an attention getter to entrap prospective viewers. While entering a museum, cat-like to avoid invisible laser beams seen only by Mac with a special instrument, Gin must bend and twist her curvaceous body lest a misstep of an inch set off alarms and foil the theft.

"Entrapment" engulfs the viewer in both its focus on the two attractive actors and in its photography of a series of capers including one in which Mac dangles from a 70-story building while opening a security system. While younger fans (the movie is rated PG-13 because of its relative absence of violence) will be absorbed in the impressive stunt work, those of a romantic bent will be fascinated particularly by Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is not simply a knockout in the looks department but has smarts and spark to match.

Though "Entrapment" recycles some of the classics--its many clever twists conforming to the usual Hollywood playing-by-the-numbers--its exotic locales, clever repartee between actors of different generations, and breathtaking stunts give "Entrapment" a handsome look, a mischievous bearing, and a good time for its patrons.

Copyright 2000 Harvey Karten

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