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Trapped (2002)

It was the perfect plan, until she refused to be the perfect villain

Directed by:

Luis Mandoki

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 106 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

One thing Hollywood never seems to have any shortage of is convoluted, idiotic thrillers. ‘Trapped’ is the latest in a long, long, LONG line of examples, but the good news is that it also manages to be more entertaining than many of the others. It could be the decent cast, it could be the decent director, or it could be the decent writer – but personally, I think what makes this one watchable is the immense fun of trying to guess what the next outrageously ridiculous move made by one of the four main characters will be.

For the first two thirds of the movie it’s fairly run-of-the-mill stuff, in which Kevin Bacon plays the piggy-nosed kidnapper who’s clearly alone in thinking himself some sort of criminal mastermind. Along with accomplices Courtney Love and Pruitt Taylor Vince, he hatches a dastardly (and slightly stupid) plan to nab the chronically-asthmatic daughter of high-flying doc Stuart Townsend and his doting missus Charlize Theron. In short, the whole lot of them become trapped in one big fat Bacon sandwich.

After teetering expertly on the verge of complete daftness for around 80 minutes or so, the film finally slides with an enjoyable splat into a gloriously brainless finale, featuring roadside explosions, cars being turned over, complete randoms getting punched in the face and bundled into car boots, and even an aeroplane crashing (yes, really!).

Not having read Greg Iles’ novel ’24 Hours’ on which the film was based, it’s hard to say whether or not the idea for this film was always quite as elaborate in its silliness. But, given that Iles also penned the screenplay, I could make a pretty good guess.

The performances on show aren’t actually too bad, and there are some moments of genuine tension in the early stages. It’s also a considerably more engaging premise than director Luis Mandoki’s previous project ‘Angel Eyes’, which I watched for its full 100 minutes only to realise as the end credits rolled that absolutely nothing was going to happen. In my eyes, kidnappings and plane crashes are a much stronger premise for a film than nothing, no matter how dippy.

It's Got: A cunningly-hidden scalpel.

It Needs: Not to be watched with a straight face. People get hurt that way.

DVD Extras Trailers, a choice of commentary from either Mandoki or Iles, the standard ‘Making Of’ featurette, some deleted scenes, filmographies and an alternate ending. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Panic Room, Ransom

Summary

Dim-witted but surprisingly amusing, this is a fun thriller to watch for all the wrong reasons.

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