Entrapment (1999)

ENTRAPMENT.  Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones.  He's 68, she's 29.  
If the math sounds scary-- or at least as frightening as last sum-
mer's Redford/Scott-Thomas near-bedding-- not to worry.  There ain't 
a single love scene in this glossy, globetrotting, high-tech-thiev-
ery-at-the-end-of-the-millennium thriller.  Nor is there much sexy 
chemistry to speak of.  The dynamic between James Bond and Zorro's 
girlfriend is closer to that of a father and daughter.  Er, make 
that a grandfather and granddaughter.  (Well, hell, why stop with a 
leading lady in her late-twenties?  How 'bout pairing Tom Hanks and 
Natalie Portman?  Or, say, Kevin Costner and the Olsen Twins??)  In 
fact, that the Beast with Two Backs-- with special creature effects 
by Stan Winston-- is left in its lair is one of the few things the 
filmmakers actually get *right*.  (Can't have the audience erupting 
in laughter, now can we?)  

Okay, okay, the gadget-intensive action sequences are pretty cool-- 
all three of them-- as is a training exercise with Jones and her 
stunt double contorting their slim bodies around a maze of red 
threads acting as laser beams.  (Quick cutting by the editor aids 
immeasurably during this part...)  Most, if not all, of the dialogue 
exchanges are snoozers, however, as is a laughably bad coda.  Said 
final scene-- an everybody-confesses, all-cards-on-the-table con-
frontation at a subway station-- is so sloppily written and ill-
executed that it might as well've been made up on the spot.  Phew.  
With Will Ferrell, Ving Rhames, and fat Maury Chaykin as a gay Ma-
laysian art dealer whose heavy make-up and sagging folds of flesh 
brought back memories of Dom DeLuise in HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART 
I.  Wash this.  

A few hundred-thousand light years at the other end of the spectrum 
THE GRAVE, I can't remember the exact boring (Miramax supplied?) 
title-- is a delightful-if-slight-and-even-slightly-overlong-even-
at-88-minutes Iranian import about, well, a pair of lost soles.  
(The plot:  little boy loses little sister's shoes; they devise a 
solution to share footwear and avoid a beating from Dad.)  No, this 
1998 Best Foreign Language Film nominee doesn't quite have the heft 
of, say, THE BICYCLE THIEF, but it *is* plenty poignant and, at 
times, even downright exciting!  (Ah, the simple terror of a bike 
with no brakes...)  'Tis also an exceptionally *fascinating* film, 
the plot keenly climbing the class ladder and thus providing a grand 
guided tour of life on *both* sides of the 'rain tracks.  Written 
and directed by Majid Majidi (THE FATHER, GOD SHALL COME).  (Rated 
"PG"/88 min.)


Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: April 18, 1999

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