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Review: Trapped – Grand Isle (2019)

Director: Stephen S. Campanelli | 97 minutes | action, thriller | Actors: Nicolas Cage, KaDee Strickland, Luke Benward, Kelsey Grammer, Zulay Henao, Oliver Trevena, Emily Marie Palmer, Beatrice Hernandez, Rob Mars, Danny Le Boyer, Trey Tycer, Haley Milsap, Isabella Grace Roark,

is a busy man. For example, the actor played in no fewer than six (!) in 2019. It shows the work ethic of this American. Well, work ethic is a big word. Most of the projects he takes on don’t show much enthusiasm. ‘Trapped’ – his last job from 2019 – is a good example of this.

In ‘Trapped’ Cage plays Walter. This man lives in a Victorian country house with his wife Fancy (KaDee Strickland). When a stranger knocks on the couple’s door and asks for shelter because a hurricane is approaching, the couple decide to let the man in. Bad plan, because this guy turns out to have a rather dubious past. Detective Jones (Kelsey Grammer) investigates after a report and uncovers some shocking secrets.

This film from director Stephen S. Campanelli is clearly a must. You don’t have to see this film for an artistic vision, deeper thoughts or sparkling special effects. Not for passionate acting either, by the way. ‘Trapped’ – or ‘Grand Isle’ as the film is also called – is a flat without tension, atmosphere or fun. This is a bread project where a lot of people were kept in work and could support their families.

Cage doesn’t feel like it and sleepwalks through the film. Once again he portrays a cartoonish, bold caricature of a man that no human being can identify with. ‘Trapped’ shows Cage on automatic pilot and that is a shame. Especially since the actor really does have talent and can blow critics away with his playing and reach (which he really does). In like ‘Joe’, ‘Mandy’ and ‘Color Out Of Space’ he recently proved to be still a great actor. Unfortunately, these outliers are inundated with stuff like ‘Trapped’.

The usually so charismatic Grammer did not enjoy his role either. If you’re a diehard fan of Cage then this is the one for you. However, if you expect more from a film, such as originality, convincing accents, good acting, a vision and a good soundtrack, then you can skip this assembly line work with confidence.

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