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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

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Review by Greg King
4 stars out of 4

This slick and undeniably entertaining thriller about a seductive female insurance investigator who tries to catch a suave thief almost makes the forthcoming remake of the 1968 caper movie The Thomas Crown Affair redundant. Entrapment takes the basic plot details and updates them with sophisticated technology of the late '90's, and throws in a few extra twists and turns to make it more interesting. Cleverly written by Ron Bass (Rain Man, etc), Entrapment also brings to mind Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief and its ilk. The film adheres closely to the charming formula of those wonderful caper thrillers from the '60's, but adds a few cynical 90's touches.

When a $25 million Rembrandt is stolen from a New York skyscraper, insurance investigator Virginia "Gin" Baker (Catherine Zeta-Jones, who last heated up the screen in the entertaining The Mask Of Zorro) sets out to prove that notorious but debonair cat burglar and art thief Robert MacDougal (Sean Connery) is responsible. She plans to trap him by convincing him to help steal a priceless Chinese heirloom from a museum. But she also has another agenda in mind. MacDougal soon finds himself involved in trying to steal billions from Malaysia's high-tech securities bank on the eve of the new millennium.

As with the great caper comedies of the past, the film explores in detail the elaborate plotting and daring execution of their impossible robberies. The uneasy relationship that slowly develops between the pair is further characterised by a mutual lack of trust.

British director Jon Amiel (The Singing Detective, etc) is better known for his off beat comedies, but he brings plenty of suspense and tension to the material. The key set pieces are superbly staged. There are a number of implausibilities within the convoluted plot, and a willing suspension of disbelief comes in handy.

However, the sheer chemistry between the two stars more than carries the movie. Connery may be the oldest action hero in the business, but he shows few signs of slowing down or making concessions for his age. He still oozes charisma and carries off the role with deceptive ease and conviction. The gorgeous Zeta-Jones is seductive, sultry and heats up the screen as the tough heroine. Unlike many other superannuated stars, Connery actually makes the older man-younger woman dynamic work here. Connery and Zeta-Jones develop a real chemistry, and their scenes together positively shimmer with a palpable sexual tension. Ving Rhames (from Mission: Impossible, etc) is along for the ride as the enigmatic Thibadeaux, whose involvement in the scheme of things is never really explained until the conclusion.

The ending is a little clumsily handled, but otherwise Entrapment quickly snares audiences with its appealing and sophisticated combination of suspense, romance and old fashioned entertainment.

Copyright 2000 Greg King

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