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Film / Entrapment

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Entrapment is a 1999 action-thriller starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones and directed by Jon Amiel.

Zeta-Jones stars as Virginia "Gin" Baker, an investigator working for an insurance company. She's hot on the trail of renowned international art thief Robert "Mac" Macdougal (Connery) and attempts to trick him into thinking she is herself a thief, and that she wants to team up with him.

Together, they embark on the biggest heist ever: stealing $8 billion from the International Clearance Bank, which happens to be housed in the then-tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers.

It is generally most famous for the Laser Hallway sequence which Zeta-Jones navigates with a Spy Catsuit and She-Fu.

This film contains examples of:

  • Above the Influence: A drunk Gin kisses Mac following an argument about the stolen mask. Mac reciprocates the kiss but refuses to go further due to Gin being inebriated.
  • Action Girl: Gin is a Classy Cat-Burglar who can hold her own in a fight.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When Gin is trying to convince Mac that she is a thief:
    Gin: I stole the Rembrandt.
    Mac: And I painted the Sistine Chapel.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Gin tells Mac she needs him "for another job".
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Gin calls Hector from Scotland, Mac is seen listening in on Gin's call, showing that he knows what she is really up to. When she returns to the castle, there is a creepy scene in which Mac leaves signs directing Gin to the castle roof. He then says that he never comes on to the roof without dropping something off, leaving the audience to expect him to push Gin off. Instead, he drops a drinking glass to the ground, and says absolutely nothing about Gin's underhand doings. He brutally interrogates Gin about it just after they have completed the mask heist.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Inverted. Mac gets evidence of Gin helping him, and subtly suggests that she get with the program.
    Gin: This is entrapment!
    Mac: No, this is blackmail. Entrapment is what cops do to thieves.
    • He's kind of right; "In criminal law, entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit." Mac was retired when the movie began, all the evidence years cold. The only way the police could arrest him was if they caught him in the act of committing another crime - so they sent Gin to sucker him into it. However, it's twisted in knots by the end; Gin actually is a thief, and Mac actually is entrapping her, as he's working with the FBI the whole time.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: To access International Clearance Bank, the chairman's retinal scan is needed. A set of goggles is made up to fake this scan.
  • Brick Joke: When the security guard discovers that the mask has been stolen, he sees that it has been replaced with a grinning monkey's head. Later, when Gin goes to sell the mask, she finds that it has been replaced with a stone with a funny mask drawn on it.
  • Cacophony Cover Up: The clock's chimes are used to mask the sounds of breaking in.
  • Camera Spoofing: Mac and Gin pause the security camera footage so they can travel in an elevator unnoticed, but it doesn't work for long. The building's security are a little stumped for why an elevator would be moving when the camera shows nobody inside. Then Gin's boss points out that the timestamp on the camera is static.
  • The Caper: Mac plans to steal $8 billion from the International Clearance Bank in the North Tower of the Petronas Towers.
  • Challenge Seeker: Gin identifies Mac as being one.
  • Chekhov's Exhibit: The Chinese mask, which becomes the subject of Gin's trial theft.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Gin, complete with a Spy Catsuit and natural cat grin.
  • Con Men Hate Guns: Mac's number one rule is to not rely on guns.
    Mac: Rule number one: Never carry a gun. If you carry a gun you may be tempted to use it.
  • Dating Catwoman: Gender Flipped: Mac is the Catwoman-equivalent, though Gin really is on his side, though at the outset the cops thought she was one of them - or so the cops let her believe...
  • Destroy the Security Camera: Mac destroys a security camera, before taking Gin into a room filled with gas, so the security patrol will think they try to avoid the gas-filled room.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: With the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, of course. Contrary to the film's depiction, the towers are not anywhere close to the Malacca river.
  • Elevator Escape: Inverted. After committing their heist on the 86th floor, and setting off the alarms, Mac and Gin try to escape in the elevator, having previously freeze-framed the camera to hide their presence. The control room shuts the elevator down to try to trap them, but they escape from the elevator by forcing the doors open.
  • Elevator Snare: When Gin and Mac are fleeing from their theft on the 86th floor, they descend in the elevator. When the security chief realises this, he orders the elevator to be shut down. However, they escape by forcing the doors open.
    Security chief: All right Mr. Kruz, your friends are rats in a trap.
  • Fanservice:
    • The film is probably most famous for the shot of Catherine Zeta-Jones squirming her ass to the floor to squeeze under a laser tripwire. Also Mac finding Gin naked in her hotel room, and Gin initially making no effort to cover up.
    • The kiss shared between Mac and Gin could be seen as either this or Fan Disservice depending on the audience.
  • Femme Fatale: Gin. "Has there ever been a man you couldn't seduce?" "No."
  • Gambit Pileup: Whew! The final scene, in which everyone's conflicting agendas come out; Initially, Gin appeared to be an FBI agent investigating Mac, who Mac blackmailed into helping him. Then she revealed she's really a thief, trying to get Mac's help with the biggest heist in history: eight billion dollars. Except it turns out that the FBI knew the whole time, but couldn't convict her of a crime she hadn't committed yet - but Mac made a deal with the FBI; immunity for his past crimes in exchange for capturing her. However, he turns on the FBI at the last second, and And the Adventure Continues as Gin is already planning a diamond heist...
  • Gentleman Thief: Mac embodies this, even living in a Scottish castle.
  • The Handler: Aaron is revealed to be one for Mac.
  • Hitler Cam: The chairman of International Clearance Bank is introduced in this way.
  • Hollywood Atlas: Google the location of Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. You can't see the Malacca River from the towers.
  • Honey Trap: After Waverly Insurance best male agents failed to catch Mac, Gin's convinces them she can succeed by seducing him.
  • Ignore The Fan Service: Mac's second rule: Never trust a naked woman. Gin, who is naked in front of him at the time, is quick to cover up.
  • The Infiltration: Gin pretends to be a thief in order to catch Mac. though in reality Gin actually is a thief and Mac is working with the FBI to catch her.
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: Mac sends Gin to steal a vase containing a secret microfilm. When she returns with the film, he refuses to tell her what the contents are, so she holds it out of the window of their getaway car, as they make their escape; he tells her immediately.
  • Laser Hallway: The most famous scene in the movie involves Gin negotiating her way through one.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Mac and Gin dangle from the Petronas Twin Towers' sky-bridge.
  • Lovable Rogue: The criminal dealer Conrad Greene, to whom Gin sells the Rembrandt and the mask, who is genial and friendly in his dealings with Gin. However, he turns very nasty when Gin does not have the mask, and only has a slate with a drawing of a mask on it, substituted by Mac.
    Greene: Oh goodie, goodie, goodie, give it to papa. Where's my mask? I want my mask.
  • In Love with the Mark: Both Gin and Mac are trying to play each other but they end up falling in love.
  • Male Gaze: In a rather infamous example, the single best-known thing about this movie is that it includes a close-up shot of Catherine Zeta-Jones' butt as she squeezes under a laser tripwire.
  • Masquerade Ball: Mac and Gin attend one where the Chinese Mask they want to steal is being exhibited.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Some of the exchanges between Gin and Mac.
    Mac: (looking at watch) Three, two, one, your time's up. You said you'd tell me what the next job is in twenty-four hours.
    Gin: It's a bank.
    Mac: And?
    Gin: And? I didn't say I'd tell you any more.
  • May–December Romance: Mac is much older than Gin. note .
  • Model Planning:
    • Mac uses models to explain the Petronas Towers job to Gin.
    • While preparing for the Laser Hallway heist, Gin and Mac build a replica of the lasers, using a framework of wood and red strings with little bells attached. Mac is only satisfied when Gin can work her way through this blindfolded.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: When her luggage is stolen, Gin is forced to sleep naked in her hotel room with only the bedsheets to cover her. Naturally, when Mac sneaks up on her sleeping and startles her, she sits up and the sheets pool at her waist, giving him an eyeful. Later in Kuala Lumpur, when she's sleeping naked in their room, Mac uses the bedsheets to cover her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Gin, who wears a lot of form-fitting outfits and is naked twice in the movie.
  • Mundane Solution: At the very beginning, a thief descends the outside of a tall building using a hoist, enters through the window, and steals a valuable painting. The mundane part is how they get it out of there: by putting it down the mail chute, in a pre-addressed cardboard tube. Unfortunately, Mac steals the painting, saying "why rob the penthouse when the mail room is on the ground floor?".
  • Naked First Impression: Gin is naked the first time she makes contact with Mac.
  • National Stereotypes: The reason it was banned in Malaysia. The film shows Gin and Mac's base of operations in some sort of rural slum that somehow has a brilliant view of the twin towers. To be that close, their ramshackle yurt must have been built atop one of the many affluent skyscrapers and five-star hotels.
  • New Year Has Come: The money from the heist finishes transferring just as the new year comes around, Mac and Gin even kiss each other in the moment as a celebration.
  • The Only One I Trust: Aaron, Mac's supplier is this for him.
  • Piecemeal Funds Transfer: The multi-billion dollar heist is shown on a screen with a progress bar.
  • Pillow Pistol: When Gin notices someone's sneaked into her room while she was sleeping, Gin tries reaching for her gun under the pillow... only to realize it was already stolen by the intruder.
  • Replaced with Replica: When Mac and Gin steal a valuable Chinese mask, it is replaced on its pedestal with a grinning monkey mask, for the security guard to find. Later, when Gin tries to sell the mask, she finds it has been replaced in her bag by a stone with a drawing of a mask on it.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The whole film, considering The Reveal that one is an FBI insurance agent who is actually a thief and the other is a thief who has been working with the cops this whole time.
  • Schmuck Bait: In Mac's castle, Gin suddenly sees a small key lying in front of a large cabinet; and she is on the point of unlocking it, when Mac's voice is suddenly heard. Later, it is revealed that the cabinet contains equipment for listening in on telephone calls.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Gin's evening gown.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: Gin when Mac catches her naked in her hotel room, before she covers herself with the sheets.
  • Silver Fox: Mac, who manages to romance a beautiful woman more than 30 years younger than him.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: Gin is forced to sleep naked in her hotel room after her luggage is stolen. Naturally, he sneaks into her room to meet her that night and she ends up giving him a Naked First Impression. Later in the movie, she's once again shown sleeping naked, this time with no excuse. Mac finds her and covers her up with a Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Slow Doors: When Gin accidentally trips the vault's security system, a wall of gates closes rapidly around them, but the door blocking the actual exit moves incredibly slowly, long enough for them to prevent it from even closing with just a chair.
  • Spy Catsuit: Gin wears one when breaking into buildings, including the famous Laser Hallway sequence.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Used often by Mac (and later Gin). Played with at least once when Mac disappears for several seconds before appearing somewhere else, panting because he ran the whole way.
  • Strictly Professional Relationship: Mac emphasises to Gin that there can be nothing personal between thieves, and that they must concentrate on the job in hand, and nothing else. Later, Mac says to Gin that he was prepared for everything, except falling in love with Gin. Thibadeux suspects that they might be up to something, and comments on this, later referring to Gin as "Mac's girlfriend".
    Thibadeux: You are keeping this strictly business, right?
    Mac: Strictly... Have you ever bought a woman's dress?... It's for the job, for her.
  • Suspicious Missed Messages: When Gin calls Hector from Scotland, Hector berates her for not checking in every day, implying that she had agreed to do so. Later, he seizes her in Kuala Lumpur, telling her that he was worried from not having heard from her for some time.
  • Through the Ceiling, Stealthily: As floors are also ceilings of underground chambers... the thieves cutting through the concrete floor under their target hallway using shaped explosive charges. They time the blasts to coincide with the beats of a clock bell to mask the noise.
  • Time for Plan B: When Gin and Mac must escape from the Petronas Twin Towers after making the heist. Mac's Plan B is a mini parachute when they have to jump down a vertical shaft to evade the police. Mac stayed behind when they only have one parachute after one of them dropped. It turns out that Mac works for the FBI in pursuit of Gin, which he confessed to her at the train station. Mac has a Plan C giving an envelope with money and passport to Gin allowing her to escape the country.
  • Title Drop: Gin throws it angrily at Mac.
    Gin: Hey! This is called entrapment.
    Mac: No, actually it's called blackmail. Entrapment is what cops do to thieves.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Gin when she sits up naked in bed when Mac startles her. Also happens later in Kuala Lumpur when she sleeps naked because of the heat.
  • Treasure Room: Averted, citing the reason that robbing banks has never been Mac's thing. When Mac and Gin break into International Clearance Bank, Mac is disappointed that the vault (an 86th floor office) contains nothing but a big computer.
    Mac: This is it? Whatever happened to money, stuff that you could get your hands on? There used to be bars of gold, safety deposit boxes. This is why I don't do banks any more: where's the good old-fashioned loot?
  • Turn of the Millennium: The heist takes place on New Year's Eve of 1999-2000.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Mac and Aaron are revealed to be FBI agents trying to catch Gin.
  • Vehicle Vanish: Done with light rail trains in the closing scene of the movie.
  • Water Torture: When they finish the mask heist Mac turns on Gin and continuously pushes her head down the water until she comes clean with him.
  • Weight and Switch: A variation occurs when Gin secures a pressure plate with a "pressure switch neutralization device"... which turns out to be a chewed bubble gum.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Gin needs ten extra seconds after midnight in order to use a computer program to steal billions of dollars from an international bank. After 11pm, the device she set up "steals" 1/10th of a second every minute until midnight, which will total 10 seconds by midnight. But that only equals 6 seconds, which is 4 shy of the required 10.


Video Example(s):


Not what they were expecting

When Gin steals the mask from the exhibit, she leaves a monkey mask in its place. When Mac steals the mask from HER, he replaces it with a drawing of a stereotypical Chinaman on a slab of rock.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReplacedWithReplica

Media sources: