Amidst a year of child kidnappings, Columbia Pictures decided to release "Trapped" with little marketing support, basically throwing this Charlize Theron/Kevin Bacon thriller to the wolves. Their decisions were their own downfall, however, as "Trapped" is a moderately-entertaining thriller that could have done much better than its $3.2 million weekend opening.
Theron stars as the wife of a well-respected daughter who comes home one night to find her daughter missing and a man - named Joe - in her kitchen (Bacon) telling her that everything will be alright if she coughs up $250,000 within 24 hours. In the meantime, her husband, away on a business trip, is taken hostage by Joe's wife.
"Trapped" essentially has two faces; the first two-thirds and the last-third. The good face is the first two-thirds, where director Luis Mandoki creates a suspenseful and entertaining thriller, and the bad face is the final act, where the movie ends in cliché and unnecessary violence that makes little sense. Nevertheless, the first two-thirds make it worth the ride, at least as a cheap rental.
This is one of Theron's better movies in the last few years, who, though not without great potential, has done little to jumpstart her career. Bacon is the man that people love to hate; there is really no specific reason why Kevin Bacon is not a bigger star than he actually is, other than the fact that everyone has seen his penis in at least a couple of movies (not this one, thankfully) and he isn't scared to play a bad guy sometimes. In fact, some of his best roles have been villains (look at "The River Wild" and "Sleepers"), and he does a pretty good job here.
Basically, "Trapped" is tense up until the end, where it just gets silly. Bacon's character, though praising himself as being calm and intelligent, starts to make a lot of stupid mistakes, including going a little nuts. These developments just don't fit in with the rest of the movie. To make matters worse, the big finale takes place on a freeway, where the husband of the kidnapped daughter (Stuart Townsend) causes a gigantic accident by landing his plane in front of the truck that is carrying his little Abby. This causes the truck to get into an accident, putting his daughter in danger, and well, yeah, that says it all. It just doesn't make much sense. Furthermore, as Bacon and Theron are running around with guns, none of the other hundreds of people involved even appear on screen. Where the hell did they go?
"Trapped" could have been a really good movie, and it is still decent, but the ending just blows the whole thing. Had the last twenty-five minutes been redone, this could have been one of the more effective thrillers of the year.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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