Reviewed by: Josh Johnson
|Featuring:||Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, John Ashton, Madchen Amick|
|Director:||George Gallo, Martin Walters|
Christmas-related them movies abound in plenty. While some are worth your time, many others out there will simply never stand out in the crowd for one reason or another. “Trapped in Paradise” is one of the overcomers, focusing on a unique plot in which a team of bank robbers decides to return the money they stole.
“Trapped in Paradise” is about the Firpo brothers: Bill (Nicolas Cage), Dave (Jon Lovitz), and Alvin (Dana Carvey). Bill is a low-paid nobody, and Dave and Alvin are both ex-cons. At Christmas time, they go to Paradise, a small town where everyone is unusually friendly. After they realize that the local town bank has practically no security, they decide to rob it. But during their getaway from Paradise, their car crashes. A kindly local finds them by the side of the road and invites them to come eat dinner with him and his uncle, who just happens to be the bank president. Meanwhile, the Feds and two witless deputies are on the trail of the Firpo brothers. Due to a winter blizzard, however, the Firpos are trapped in Paradise and are forced to get to know the people they wronged.
This is one of the few Christmas movies that emphasizes Christian forgiveness. Early in the film, someone recognizes Bill’s voice as one belonging to a bank robber. Instead of turning them in, she tries to convince them to do what they know is right.
There is some violence and cursing, but no sex. In the first five minutes, we see Bill at confession, talking to a priest about how he considered keeping a wallet he found on the street. Then we see the priest doing a crossword puzzle. Bill is clearly the most moral of the brothers, and their mother is very religious. She doesn’t say “Christmas”. Instead, she says “The day Christ was born”. However, she curses, too.
This is one of the few secular Christmas movies that I would recommend. One problem with “Trapped in Paradise” is that it would have fared better as a drama rather than the comedy it is billed to be. Still, it fares much better than any “How (insert name here) Saved Christmas” movies.