Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones both carry some star power. Connery is the epitome of James Bond. And even now he is still doing the part of Bond – take a look at his character Mason in The Rock. Zeta-Jones coming off her hot debut in The Mask of Zorro is a hot commodity these days. With this much star power this movie can’t lose – or can it?
Mac (Sean Connery) is a professional thief who is rich enough that he doesn’t have to steal for the money – he steals for the enjoyment and the thrill. Gin (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is an insurance agent for a large insurance company. She is going undercover and working hand in hand with Mac in order to catch him in the act of stealing. She’s the bait for the entrapment of Mac during the next robbery, a theft of a beautiful Chinese mask. But, is Gin all that she says she is?
We have two other minor characters who are in the shadows most of the time, but we get the sneaking suspicion that they have a hand in all that is happening. These two are Gin’s boss Hector (Will Patton) Cruz and Mac’s former partner Thibadeaux (Ving Rhames). Patton, who I loved in Armageddon, plays Cruz without much flair and the accent that he adopts feels counterfeit. Rhames doesn’t get enough screen time to do anything substantial, his talents are completely wasted in Entrapment.
The script by Ron Bass (My Best Friend’s Wedding) and William Broyles Jr. takes us on a whirlwind tour of the world, stopping at many photogenic locations. But, all of this eye candy and beautiful cinematography doesn’t matter since the script is weak. The lack of thrills is the downfall of this film. The script isn’t the only thing that is flat in this film though.
Sean Connery gives a wooden performance as Mac. His performance is lacking that onscreen charisma that we’ve come to love from him. Because of his mediocre performance there is no real tension between him and Zeta-Jones and the sexual tension between the two fizzles. At times the relationship between Mac and Gin felt more father-daughter like than romantic.
The direction from Jon Amiel is surprisingly tame. Amiel who directed one of the best thrillers I’ve seen, CopyCat, is bland in this film. The tension-filled scenes are lax, with the focus more on Zeta-Jones’s curves than on the action. Amiel was not the first director hired for this film though. Amiel took over the helm from Antoine Fuqua. Fuqua was the director who pumped life into the lifeless film The Replacement Killers. Fuqua’s direction in Entrapment would have raised it out of mediocrity – Fuqua has a keen eye for style that, when applied correctly, would have made us forget about the horribly thin script.
Had it not been for the multiple, seemingly contrived, twists at the end of the film, I would have walked out of the theatre fuming. But, the twists were pretty fun to watch unfold and I walked out of the theatre with a slight smile on my face. I don’t recommend seeing Entrapment in the theatres, matinee or otherwise. Though, this would be a good pick for a weekend video rental.