Luis Mandoki (Director)
Kevin Bacon (Joe Hickey)
Courtney Love (Cheryl Hickey)
Charlize Theron (Karen Jennings)
Stuart Townsend (Will Jennings)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Marvin Poole)
Dakota Fanning (Abby Jennings)
the official Trapped website
"Trapped" has been on my must see list for a while.
I first heard of the film when it was revealed that
singer/songwriter Dave Matthews was going to star as one of
the kidnappers. Later on down the road, I heard that
Matthews had backed out of the role and was replaced, instead,
with singer/songwriter/actor Kevin Bacon. That
automatically made me anticipate the film more because I am
one hell of a huge Kevin Bacon fan, excluding the worthless
"Hollow Man" (which did, however, host some pretty
decent special effects). Alas, when I heard Luis Mandoki
was directing "Trapped", my anticipation shrank
considerably. I mean--seriously--the guy directed
"When A Man Loves A Woman" and "Message in A
Bottle", and I don't even want to recapture the sheer
awfulness of "Angel
Kevin Bacon stars as kidnapper Joe Hickey who, along with wife
Cheryl (Courtney Love), takes the child of a married couple
(Stuart Townsend and Charlize Theron) for ransom. The
kidnappers think their plan is perfect, until they discover
the child (Dakota Fanning from "I
Am Sam") they have kidnapped has asthma.
Some interesting side notes are also discovered in the film
concerning the kidnappers. Theron and Townsend are not
very cooperative with the kidnappers either.
This is an interesting film. It is not a great film, and
really never even borders on being great, but it is in no way
a bad film either. This is your typical kidnapping
caper, but with a really exceptional cast, most prominently
Bacon and Love, who have wonderful chemistry on screen and
really look to be enjoying their characters. Theron and
Townsend are really supplemental characters, though they are
key to the story. And, Dakota Fanning gives another
'cool' performance--not as 'cool' as "I
Am Sam"--but 'cool' nevertheless.
One of the biggest problems I had with the film was that it
was too similar to other films about kidnapping, i.e.
"Ransom" and "Don't
Say A Word". Everything that
happened was predictable and everything that happened was clichéd,
though they were made more watchable by the stellar cast.
Alas, the cast was not enough to fill in the gaps provided by
the sub-par screenplay from Greg Iles, who also penned the
Some movies are just able to be avoided at theatres, and
"Trapped" falls into that category. You can't
wait until video and save a few bucks and still get the same
impact as you would in a theatre. It is rare when you
cannot. I would suggest you skip this film for now and
go see something else, like "One
Hour Photo" or
Good Girl". Be sure to catch it on
video, though, because you probably won't be disappointed.
And, for fun, you can rent "Ransom", watch them back
to back, and then jot down the similarities. You should
have at least a paragraph full. You can see
"Trapped" with it 'escapes' onto home video.
Ray ( 2 1/2 out of 4 pops )
about this film with other Popkorn Junkies
Matt ( 3 out of 4 pops )
"Trapped" is unremarkable and mildly conventional, but
full of suspense. I had a damn good time. The film was
directed by Luis Mandoki, who also directed "Angel
very good film. The shaky camerawork helps add tension to each
scene. The cast is first-rate, with Kevin Bacon playing the
villain...again. Yes, we've seen him play this role before,
but he's great at it. Dakota Fanning, who was terrific in
delivers another terrific performance. The film contains a few
clichés that we've seen before. For example, we
have the "nice guy" who has to keep an eye on the kidnapee.
He's so nice at times that you wonder why he's involved in this
kidnapping in the first place. We've seen this before in Ron
Howard's "Ransom" with Donnie Wahlberg's character.
And without giving anything away, I'm pretty sure an evil kidnapper
like Kevin Bacon wouldn't allow his hostage to go to the bathroom
without him watching. Sure, that would be perverse, but then
again so is he. There's a window to jump out
of, there are razors in the medicine cabinet. That's a pretty
stupid move. And there are also a few loose ends in the plot.
As the film progresses, we learn Kevin Bacon's and Courtney Love's
(his wife) motives for kidnapping the child, but what was his
motives for the other four kidnappings? Despite its flaws,
"Trapped" is an exciting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.
And as I mentioned beforehand, it's lots of fun watching Kevin Bacon
play the villain.