Entrapment

ENTRAPMENT puts Sean Connery together with Catherine Zeta-Jones in a sleek, beautifully appointed heist thriller from 1999. The wickedly seductive actress, 28, had just arrived big-time in the delightful old-fashioned adventure The Mask of Zorro. At sixty-eight, the ever-debonair Sean was getting close to calling it a wrap. He did two more after this: Finding Forrester was just okay, then The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen made a extraordinary thud. This plush, entertaining caper would have made a much more fitting exit for The Man. As for his co-star, when Zeta-Jones beseeches “Please, come with me to Kuala Lumpur”, the answer’s in the asking.

World-class art thief ‘Robert “Mac” MacDougal’ (Connery) is pursued by insurance agent ‘Gin Baker’ (Zeta-Jones), who may have an agenda that goes beyond her assignment of catching him in the act. The bait is an irresistible plan: pull off the most daring robbery ever. They’ll  electronically loot eight billion from an impossibly secure bank in Malaysia, and do so on the stroke of midnight during the Millennium celebration. Arduous training and faultless precision requires their absolute trust in one another.

Suspension of disbelief is a given in stories like this. The idea is have the audience go with the flow and enjoy the ride: parse details afterwards. The stars have charisma to spare, the script is clever, Jon Amiel’s direction moves it smoothly. The locations are stunning: Scotland’s Isle of Mull, where they train at Mac’s castle lair, and the scene of the big score, the dazzling Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, then the tallest buildings in the world. Taut action, cool gadgets, just enough humor, excellent stunt work.

The age difference between the two magnetic actors only makes an issue if you’re unduly uptight about such things. They happen: do try to get on with your own blemish-free life. As to the lithe and confident Ms. Zeta-Jones, we’ll second Roger Ebert’s comment that “while beautiful women are a dime a dozen in the movies, those with fire, flash and humor are a good deal more scarce.”

Connery co-produced the $66,000,000 adventure, written by Ronald Bass (Black Widow, Rain Man, The Joy Luck Club) and William Broyles Jr. (Apollo 13, Cast Away). Ensuring that it looked to kill was cinematographer Phil Méheux (The Mask Of Zorro, Casino Royale). The US gross of $87,700,000 placed 24th in ’99, part of a worldwide capture that tapped $212,400,000.

With Will Patton, Ving Rhames and Maury Chaykin. 114 minutes.

 

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