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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 MrBrown
2½ stars out of 4

About a third into _Entrapment_, we have learned the following about Catherine Zeta-Jones: her character is an insurance investigator trying to nail a world famous thief by posing as a thief herself; she is very athletic and remarkably limber (watch her slither her way around a grid of security lasers); she struggles with an American accent (her natural Welsh lilt always creeps through); and she looks smashing in a skin-tight cat suit. In short, we have learned just about everything--except for one teensy detail: her character's name.

This is a problem, but one that it easily forgiven; after all, maybe director Jon Amiel was as distracted by Zeta-Jones's magnetism--and, for that matter, that of leading man Sean Connery--as the audience is. Their combined charisma keeps _Entrapment_ watchable. What it doesn't, however, is make this action adventure terribly exciting. That's Amiel's job, and he does not appear to know quite how to approach it.

Amiel does stage a particularly tense heist scene where undercover investigator Virginia Baker (yes, that is Zeta-Jones's character name) and her quarry, master thief Robert MacDougal (Connery) team up to steal a precious mask. But that's about the only thrill scene that Amiel doesn't fumble in some way. An early car chase is too abbreviated to make any sort of impression, and a high-wire climax is too contrived and conventionally staged to be very suspenseful. Amiel handles the quieter moments better, but there he is largely helped by the the rapport between his megawatt stars. Even that, however, isn't always enough; the two can't hide the fact that the manipulative, overly drawn-out resolution could have used a lot more tightening in the editing room.

The many twists in the script by Ron Bass and William Broyles Jr. do not always make complete sense, but it delivers enough surprises to keep the audience on their toes and interested. But without some real zest and style on the directorial end--which ousted helmer Antoine Fuqua (_The_Replacement_Killers_) could have brought to the project--_Entrapment_ is more of a diversion than a true thriller.

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