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Trapped
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: The Arrow
Trapped order
Director:
Luis Mandoki

Actors:
Kevin Bacon
Charlize Theron
Stuart Townsend

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The Jennings (Theron-Townsend) are a wealthy and happy family (adopt me please!). But when morally challenged Joe Hickey (Bacon) and his motley crew snatch away their adorable, asthmatic daughter (Manning) to hold for ransom, their once-peaceful lives changes drastically and goes to hell.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Based on Greg Iles novel “24 Hours”, TRAPPED is an entertaining, if not familiar, character-driven suspense thriller that’s worth a peek. I was swiftly reeled into this ride by its gripping premise, quick pace, and appealingly polished visuals. The film further kept me in the game with its surprisingly “nasty” plot twists (for a mainstream flick) and its few pleasurable “Soap Opera”-like character motives. Acting-wise, I have to hand it to the little girl in this playpen (played by Dakota Manning), she was a cutie and quite a competent actress for her age. I felt for her the most. As for the rest of the cast, they were also bang-on in their stereotypical, "been there, done that" roles. Let's face it, Kevin Bacon has milked the bad guy thing to the max and Charlize Theron has overplayed the "strong female that bawls" like a pro, but they both excel at what they do, so it still worked here.

My main peeves with TRAPPED were first its husband (Stuart Townsend) and white trash tramp (Courtney Love) subplot. That aspect of the story was, at times, dropped for too long a period of time and that made me lose some interest in it as I went along. Also, Courtney Love grates me like a cheap brick of cheese. She just puts me off for some reason and I even squinted my eyes when she attempted to be seductive here…PUKE! But that’s my own shite going on. Where TRAPPED really lost me was with its wham-bang ending. Up to that point, everything was psychologically driven, but the ending took the overblown, plane, car crash angle. Although still engaging, the finale didn’t totally gel with what was previously established and didn’t put out the emotional impact it could have. A more intimidate and less farfetched cap-off would’ve been more fulfilling from an audience point of view. In the end, TRAPPED was a good, effortless watch. The film is flawed and has a few plot holes, but it was still fun to sit through the whole way.
THE EXTRAS
Director’s Commentary (scene-specific): Luis Mandoki comes in and talks about the script and how he wanted to apply it visually on screen. He also praises his cast and addresses the inspiration they brought to his directing choices. We also get some Production info. This commentary was slow at times, but still wound up being an okay listen.

Writer’s Commentary (scene-specific): Greg Isles talks about the opening scene and how it wound up getting shot and talks about the differences between his novel and his script. He also touches upon the roots of the story and gives us his opinion on the cast of the film. I found this track to be a tad more interesting than Mandoki’s, Isles kept me engaged with his various insights in regards to the story, the book, the script and the movie.

Making of Featurette (~ 20 minutes): Here we get lots of on-set footage with the cast and crew coming in to comment on their characters, the story, the reasons behind the casting and the shoot. This slickly shot feature plays out more like an extended ad for the film than an in-depth "making of", but still delivers enough production info to be worth a look.

Deleted Scenes (~ 1 to 2 minutes each): Here we get 5 deleted scenes that wouldn’t have brought much to the movie if included, but that are still somewhat interesting to watch on their own. Did you know the opening scene was shot on digital (due to budget reasons)? Now you know. This feature is okay, but would’ve been stronger with a director commentary option attached to it.

Alternate Ending (~ 2 minutes): This alternate ending is basically identical to the one in the final cut, except it’s viewed through a TV and brings back the mother character from the opening. Decent.

We also get Cast Filmographies and Trailers (Trapped / Enough / Hollow Man / I Spy / Panic Room / Spider-Man / XXX)
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
TRAPPED is that rental you crave when your Friday night looks like a solo venture. It’s an easy watch, sports a solid cast and is entertaining throughout for all the right and the wrong reasons. The DVD itself is pretty packed and definitely quality-inclined. I say check it out, enjoy yourselves and expect to forget all about it two days later. It’s that kind of an evening.
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