Trapped | Chicago Reader

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Kevin Bacon, playing a slimy but clever kidnapper, points out that most kidnapping plots fail right at the end, when the culprits try to pick up the money; that's where most thrillers fail as well, and this one is no exception. Adapted by Greg Iles from his novel 24 Hours, this is a pretty good nail-biter in its first half, when Bacon's plan seems so audacious it just might work. After he and his pal snatch a six-year-old girl from her own bedroom, Bacon holds the mother (Charlize Theron) hostage, while Bacon's wife (Courtney Love) holds the traveling father (Stuart Townsend) in his hotel room, and Bacon's weak-willed pal (Pruitt Taylor Vince) stashes the child in a remote cabin; the three criminals touch base every 30 minutes by cell phone, and the father is ordered to wire the mother a quarter-million dollars at a designated bank. The scheme begins to unravel once the father learns the criminals are motivated by more than simple greed, yet that revelation doesn't humanize them as it's clearly supposed to, and by the time the high-octane ending arrived I didn't even care what happened to the kid. Luis Mandoki (Message in a Bottle) directed. 99 min.

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