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Entrapment  

Starring: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames, Will Patton, Maury Chaykin Directed by: Jon Amiel Written by: Ron Bass and William Broyles Jr.

In a way, going to movies can be like attending a literature or creative writing class; they can make you look deep within yourself to find answers to some of life's mysteries, and maybe even alter a perception or two. On the flip side of the coin, a film like "Entrapment" is more of a cinematic math equation; the answers don't rest in a healthy dose of soul-searching, but rather within the equation itself: attractive stars, breathtaking locations, nifty action sequences, and a director smart enough to piece it all together in a briskly-paced adventure yarn.
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The movie stars Sean Connery as master thief Robert "Mac" MacDougal. We see just how good a thief he is by the vast assortment of valuable artifacts scattered throughout his castle hideaway. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Gin Baker, an insurance investigator who spends virtually every waking moment pursuing the elusive MacDougal. She tails him until he catches on to her pursuit, at which point she says she has a "proposition" for him - a heist.

Now, of course we realize there is much more going on here. We know there will be double-crosses upon double-crosses, and writers Ron Bass and William Broyles, Jr don't let us down on that score. What holds it together are the charismatic performances of Connery and Zeta-Jones. They have terrific chemistry which keeps the viewers' attention in the face of a potentially convoluted plot. Connery has always been the kind of actor who can somehow maintain a lofty level of dignity while reciting corny lines of dialogue, and there are scenes here where he is asked to perform that same feat. And Catherine ("The Mask of Zorro") Zeta-Jones, whose physical attractiveness has been somewhat gratuitously displayed in the television ads for the film, comes across as a very likable screen presence.

The movie was directed by Jon Amiel, who simply takes the elements he has to work with and pieces them together into a kind of chronological jigsaw puzzle. The end result is a film that won't change anyone's life, but has more than enough vitality to keep a viewer entertained. At one point, MacDougal, when presented with the option of a huge heist, says to Gin: "What could you possibly do with seven billion dollars that you couldn't do with four?" The film seems to make a similar comment - what do you need deep intellectual insight for when you have a crafty combination of action, adventure, beautiful scenery, and an abundance of sex appeal.

Copyright 2001 Michael Brendan McLarney Critically Ill

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