2hrs 5mins


‘Trapped’ shows a couple coping with the abduction of their daughter in a very personalised ransom kidnapping. A suspense thriller as tense as they come, with the interactions between parents and kidnappers key to the action. Kevin Bacon stars as Joe the devious kidnapper who thinks his plan is flawless. Daughter Abby is taken by the kindly criminal Marvin, while Joe and Cheryl (Courtney Love) hold the alternate parents at bay until money has changed hands. The starting sequence is filmed strangely in over-exposed black and white and seems bizarrely unnecessary, but it does get much better. Charged with emotion, the performances from both Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend as Dr. Will and Karen Jennings are touching and terrifying. Last time I saw Townsend he was the vampire Lestat in ‘Queen of the Damned’, a film saved only by his presence; in ‘Trapped’ he is also welcome, thankfully backed this time by a good plot and dialogue. The first three quarters of the film play on character interaction to keep you gripping the edges of your seat, with plenty of gun waving thrown in. The parents battle to get the upper hand, uncovering a deep seated greater motive behind the kidnapping than money. The only let down in this film is the over-the-top finale with cheesy predictable outcomes and a reduction in the previous interesting concentration on character reactions. Towards the end you are thinking more along the lines of Die-Hard-action-thriller rather than suspense, but all the same it is an entertaining and emotional film with talented acting evident in the performances of Bacon and Theron in particular.

(This review appeared in Palatinate Sense magazine in Durham 2003)


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