"Commitment and Ingenuity Prevail"
In TRAPPED, it was the perfect kidnapping plan…until they refused to be the perfect victims. There are plenty of heart-stopping moments in this movie about the overcoming power of commitment and ingenuity, but the language, violence and sex outweigh the adrenalin rush of a good thriller.
In the thriller TRAPPED, Joe Hickey (Kevin Bacon) thinks he’s invented the perfect scheme: kidnap the child of wealthy parents, hold him or her for 24 hours, keeping the mother under his control while his wife gets the ransom from the father, who is on a trip. The movie begins in grainy black and white film, eerily showing the end of one of Hickey’s successful kidnappings. As the beaten-up, horrified mother is finally allowed to run to her son in the park, Hickey remarks, “I love reuniting families.”
His next victims are the Jennings family, an adorable group of three including a physician father, Will (Stuart Townsend), a sweet, nurturing mother, Karen (Charlize Theron), and a cute little blonde six-year-old daughter, Abby (Dakota Fanning). With the help of a male accomplice, Marvin (Pruitt Taylor Vince), Abby is kidnapped from her home, and Joe keeps Karen held in fear. When she does find a gun and tries to threaten him, he reminds her that her gun kills two people with one bullet.
Meanwhile, Joe’s wife, Cheryl (Courtney Love), sneaks in to the end of Will’s seminar on paralyzing relaxants, weasels her way in to his hotel room, holds him at gunpoint, and demands the ransom.
Marvin takes Abby to a dusty cabin, but unbeknownst to him, she is highly asthmatic and starts to have breathing problems.
Even though the kidnappers have disconnected phone lines, Karen and Will manage to find a way to communicate via palm pilot, and they realize that this kidnapping is different. It’s personal! Seeing the imminent danger, the parents decide to turn the tables on a seemingly foolproof plan. So the plot questions arise: will they be able to use the few remaining tricks in their bags to thwart the highly motivated bad guys? Might Will’s unusual talent of pontoon bi-plane navigation and his handy invention of paralyzing relaxants serve his family well in the time of need? Might Karen’s acting abilities and little Abby’s smarts combine to save the day? Or, do the bad guys have a few remaining tricks of their own?
TRAPPED is a simple story, but it jangles the nerves, nonetheless, as a good thriller should. Charlize Theron and Kevin Bacon are masterful in their roles, and Dakota Fanning is adorable. The family loves each other and clearly values closeness and fidelity. There is a high cringe factor, however, in seeing this sweet young actor performing in a movie laden with vile language, sex, violence, and the combination of violence and sex. One must wonder if children like this are allowed to even watch the movies they’ve made. If so, their gray matter is surely filled with a lifetime of material for bad dreams and counseling sessions.
TRAPPED has close to 70 foul words in it, most of them being strong obscenities. The violence includes kidnapping at gunpoint, gun threats, fistfights, wrestling people down, a cut with a scalpel as a weapon, shots with a tranquilizer, beating up of women by men, road violence with cars and trucks overturned, fires, explosions, etc. The scantily clad Theron undresses the threatening Bacon, only to slice him with a hidden scalpel. Courtney Love bathes in front of Stuart Townsend, finally attacking him and being shot with a hypodermic needle. And, this all just seems “normal” for such events. Please! Can we not just have a good, heart-racing thriller without the plethora of language, sex and violence garbage shoved down our throats? Whatever happened to the good ole’ days of Alfred Hitchcock? Twilight Zone? Outer Limits?
The redeeming facets of TRAPPED include its accurate portrayal of the patterns of woundedness in the antagonist, as well as the positive portrayal of the overcoming power of a close family that is fully committed to fidelity. The offensive elements, however, far outweigh the good, so don’t get “trapped” into the allure of this jangling whirlwind of a thriller.
(B, Pa, LLL, VV, SS, NN, A, S, D, M) Biblical worldview showing accurate behavior patterns of the wounded and portraying the fruits of a family committed to fidelity with a secondary romantic theme about the emotion of the moment ruling; intense foul language with 54 strong obscenities, 8 mild obscenities and 5 profanities; high violence with kidnapping at gunpoint, gun threats, fistfights, wrestling people down, a cut with a scalpel as a weapon, shots with a tranquilizer, beating up of women by men, road violence with cars and trucks overturned, fires, explosions, etc.; sex includes kidnapper trying to force sex with the mom and mom responding with an attack of a hidden scalpel, plus woman takes a bath in front of the father; nudity is brief but includes the bath and some scantily clad moments with Theron; drinking depicted; smoking; and, kidnapping and fear-based threats of violence.
In TRAPPED, Joe Hickey (Kevin Bacon) kidnaps Abby Jennings and holds her mom, Karen (Charlize Theron) captive. Joe’s wife, Cheryl (Courtney Love), sneaks into the traveling father’s hotel room and demands the ransom at gunpoint. Accomplice Marvin takes Abby to a dusty cabin, but finds she is asthmatic and starting to lose her breath. The parents manage to communicate and scheme to turn the tables on the kidnappers. Will they be able to thwart the kidnappers? Might Will’s unusual talent of pontoon bi-plane navigation and his handy invention of paralyzing relaxants serve his family in the time of need? Might Karen’s acting abilities and little Abby’s smarts combine to save the day? Or, do the bad guys have a few remaining tricks of their own?
TRAPPED is a simple story, but it jangles the nerves, as a good thriller should. It accurately portrays the patterns of woundedness in the antagonist and positively portrays the overcoming power of a close family that is fully committed to fidelity. The offensive elements of language, violence and sex, however, far outweigh the good, so don’t get “trapped” into the allure of this jangling whirlwind of a thriller