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Entrapment

ENTRAPMENT
Rated PG-13 for language and action
Starring Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Will Patton, Maury Chaykin & Ving Rhames

CineSight Rating ***

Insurance investigator Gin Baker (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is hot on the trail of master cat burglar 'Mac' McDouglall (Sean Connery). A simple game of cat-and-mouse? Not quite. She plans to trap him by joining forces with him on an irresistible robbery - at least, that's what she tells her boss.

Gin manages to persuade Mac that she is also an 'accomplished' thief and together they pull-off a complex job of stealing an ancient Chinese mask. At this point she baits the trap - a massive heist of $8 billion from a bank in Malaysia. Just one problem, they only have 24 hours to plan it, since the robbery must take place at midnight on the eve of the millenium (in order to take advantage of the Y2K bug).

Okay, the story sounds pretty outrageous, and it is. This unbelievable plot is a staple of caper movies - a job requiring such skill, timing, daring and pure luck, that you know it'll work. Without excellent performances from Connery and Zeta-Jones, the whole movie would have fallen very flat, but they are both on top form, making this a great piece of escapism.

Throughout, the awkward possibility of a romantic entaglement between Mac and Gin is handled with subtlety. Considering the difference in their ages, it could have been either tacky or ridiculous. But both leads play so well against each other, that the romantic tension becomes an asset rather than their undoing.

Jon Amiel's direction is very solid and well-paced: combining the suspense of close calls and the speed and breathtaking agility of the cat burglars with their pursuers always just a few steps behind.

The effects are also impressive since they work hard to support the story, rather than overpowering it.

ENTRAPMENT is good entertainment; filled with charm, ambiguity and a few cliffhangers.