A thief steals a painting, a priceless Rembrandt,
They climb through a window but jostle a plant.
The method they use is not lost on Gin Baker,
Who thinks “Mac” MacDougal must be the art’s taker.
This Gin works for Waverly Insurance, who
Lets Baker go find Mac to prove if it’s true.
She goes undercover and says she’s a thief,
But Mac isn’t prone to undoubting belief.
A pro past his prime, he is nonetheless drawn
By her plan for a theft that she wants him in on.
It may be entrapment, but Mac blackmails Gin,
And takes her to Scotland where they can begin.
They train for the heist of a gold Chinese mask.
It’s priceless; they don’t tell its worth so don’t ask.
And, as it’s clear nobody trusts anybody,
The facts of who’s crooked and straight become muddy.
They pilfer the mask with a smart strategy,
Contorting through lasers to leave a monkey.
Mac knows Gin’s a traitor and practically drowns her,
But Gin gives an offer while she starts to flounder,
A heist she’s been planning for years (what a kidder!),
And eight billion dollars makes Mac reconsider.
They go to Malaysia, which Gin rather likes;
The world’s tallest building is where they will strike.
Millennial eve, while the world is distracted,
Their masterful plan is discreetly enacted.
By fooling a clock, they succeed in their crime
To transfer eight billion, in just enough time.
But then one mistake takes their plan out of shape;
They go to great heights to attempt to escape.
Yet only Gin makes it, while Mac stays behind.
The next day, the FBI knows where to find
The wanted Gin Baker. Turns out I was wrong.
Mac was helping them catch her, the thief all along.
Yet Mac helps her flee; then she quickly comes back.
She has plans for a heist, and, for that, she needs Mac.

I am not a big fan of caper films, simply because I don’t care for filmmakers getting viewers to root for a criminal to succeed. I have that same reservation for Entrapment, but I can overlook it mainly due to the two leads. Catherine Zeta-Jones is attractive (to say the least) as Gin Baker, and Sean Connery is as good as ever as Mac, the aging thief who’s always one step ahead; together, they’re thick as thieves. With gadgets that would make James Bond envious, the two somewhat succeed in their heist (with only one billion dollars), but at least the rest of their loot is returned by the end. It helps that, until the end, at least one of the main characters seems to be working to bring down criminal activity.

The movie also gives a look at the intricate planning and training that goes into the perfectly timed burglaries our anti-heroes commit. While the almost titillating laser scenes, both training and the real thing, earned infamy among critics, they are fascinating to watch for the meticulous choreography, not just Zeta-Jones’ curvaceous figure. Also, though there are several potentially compromising situations, I appreciate that the two leads are never shown sleeping together, as in every other remotely romantic film.

The vertigo-inducing finale still keeps me and my VC on the edge of our seats, and the end is satisfying, if morally problematic. It’s a fine line that these films walk, making criminals likable to the point one wants them to prevail, but Entrapment does it well enough to warrant getting on the list.

Best line: (from Mac’s FBI contact) “Well, Mac, this looks like the end of a terrible friendship.”

VC’s best line: “Don’t use a cannon to kill a mosquito.”

Artistry: 5
Characters/Actors: 6
Entertainment: 6
Visual Effects: 5
Originality: 6
Watchability: 5
Other (“heroes” are criminals): -5
TOTAL: 28 out of 60

Tomorrow: #344: Working Girl

© 2014 S. G. Liput