Entrapment (1999)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames
Extras: Theatrical Trailers

It has actually been quite a while since we had seen a great movie that has its narrative focused on a master thief, who is out to snatch some highly valued piece of art. A number of classic movies have used it as a recipe, and immediately Jules Dassins’ 1964 film "Topkapi" with Peter Ustinov, or Alfred Hitchcock’s "To Catch A Thief" come to mind. "Entrapment" is a modern day variation of the same theme, and just as the classic movies, it is a stylish movie, that allows viewers to suspend their disbelief and just enjoy the fantastic ride ahead. Thrilling and atmospheric, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has a clear winner on its hands with this DVD.

Despite his considerable age, Robert MacDougal (Sean Connery) is still considered one of the best art thieves in the world.
The young insurance agent Virginia Baker (Catherine Zeta-Jones) has long been following his trail, analyzing his style and technique, trying to keep up with what "Mac" is doing. Finally she gets her chance when she is put on the case to crack down on the master thief. It’s is a dangerous assignment, though, as two other agents have disappeared on the same mission before her.

She tracks Mac down in England where he is executing yet another coup, and then approaches him, posing as a thief herself. It quickly turns out that Virginia is indeed using her job as an insurance agent only as a cover for her nightly activities in which she climbs down the glass walls of skyscrapers to steal priceless paintings.
Together the two plan to steal a valuable mask from a local exhibition and prepare and practice every little detail. But Mac is not sure if Virginia is honest with him and remains careful and distant. Once successfully finished their coup, he is more confident and trusty, allowing her to take him to Malaysia, where she has been preparing a $8 billion heist!
Soon, the two are once again entangled in a fascinating game, that could have them both killed, and trust is the only thing they have to rely on. But can they really afford to trust each other?

After a furious start where we get to witness the theft of a Rembrand painting from the highrise of a skyscraper, the first half of the movie is very traditional – in a very good sense that is. Especially the setting within the confinements of Mac’s castle are very reminiscent of the films from the 50s and 60s. It has a very stylish feel to it that immediately pulls audiences into familiar territory.

After the initial theft then, when the couple set their eyes higher, it becomes much more of a high-tech spectacle, and the idea to use the infamous Y2K-bug as an attractor for this movie gives it a believable, and incredibly witty shift. As a result, the movie is always exciting, offering new ideas, views and visions while the story takes its many turns. It is also a modern movie at the same time, using the latest in technology and gadgets to allow them to enter buildings that have ultra-tight security systems, and simply watching the stealthy thieves, and the gadgets at work is a sheer pleasure.

Teaming up Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Entrapment" was certainly one of the smartest moves by the filmmakers and is also hugely responsible for the film’s attraction. Both of them have an elegance and eroticism that ignites the screen and constantly raises the inevitable question, when will they finally fall for each other? It is on this level that the movie’s script shows that it is not taking itself too seriously, and gives the viewer plenty of material to smile and reminisce about, and to simply enjoy what is offered. It is hard, if not impossible, to believe many of the events presented in the film, but the movie perfectly packages it so that you just don’t mind. The premise, the plot and the character are fascinating and multi-facetted enough to allow viewers to simply enjoy the film for what it is, a colorful and exciting thrill-ride.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment present "Entrapment" in its original 2.35:1 <$PS,widescreen> aspect ratio. The transfer is very clean and nicely restores the theatrical presentation without noticeable defects, like scratches or dust. Although the level of detail is generally very high on this release due to the flawless compression, an <$16x9,anamorphic> transfer could have helped to easily catapult "Entrapment" into the reference quality DVD league. The presentation is completely devoid of compression artifacts and also no edge-enhancement is evident anywhere in the transfer. It is a very balanced presentation without a sign of <$pixelation,pixelation>, ringing, or shimmering of any sort. Color reproduction is very faithful with deep solid blacks and good highlights that lend a balanced and natural look to the movie.

"Entrapment" contains two audio tracks, both in English. The first one is a 5.1 <$DD,Dolby Digital> soundtrack that is aggressive and well integrated, while the second one is a <$DS,Dolby Surround> track that does not sound quite as expansive as the <$5.1,5.1 mix>. The audio is nicely produced and creates a very realistic atmosphere through good use of the surrounds to enhance the film’s ambience. At times, especially towards the end of the movie when things heat up quite a bit, the split surrounds are used to good effect to enhance the presentation. Bass extension is very natural, without exaggeration. Although the LFE channel is used very often, it never kicks in abruptly and helps to maintain a solid sound image throughout the film. Dialogues are centered and always understandable.

Being a day and date release, the DVD contains only very limited supplements. Theatrical trailers for the movie and "Rising Sun" are the only extras found on this release. Although the disc contains a cast list, it is just that. No biographies or anything the like, just a plain list of the main actors.

Expecting much of the movie, I did not go away disappointed. Quite the opposite, actually, it even surmounted my expectations. The film had a much more ‘traditional’ charm than I had expected, and by the time it switches over into the high tech world of Y2K computer bugs, I had long bought into the film and was sitting on the edge to find out how it would all end. And once again, I was not disappointed by the film’s ending, although it is physically impossible. Not even during the film’s last minutes, do the filmmakers fail to draw very three-dimensional characters that actually breathe – and in the ending of "Entrapment" Sean Connery is in dire need to catch his breath.

Fox’s presentation of this movie on their DVD here is fabulous and makes the movie all the more enjoyable. Don’t miss this sizzling, and intriguing action adventure, that comes along, just when you thought they don’t make movies like this one any more.