Saturday, September 21, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW PRISONERS
A small-town carpenter turns vigilante in order to rescue his abducted daughter and her best friend in this thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Six-year-old Anna and her friend Joy have vanished on Thanksgiving without a trace.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, Terrance Howard
Release Date: Sep 20, 2013
Rated R for language Throughout, Disturbing Violent Content and Torture
Runtime: 2 hr. 33 min.
Genres: Drama, Suspense/Thriller
Prisoners is a dark movie, oppressive from the start, unrelenting. It’s not the type of film that’ll be on many people’s rewatch list. As a film it’s wonderfully shot and methodically paced, even if it overstays its welcome during its weak final act. Director Denis Villeneuve knows how to establish mood with settings. The film is coated in rain and haze with nary a glimmer of sunlight. Hugh Jackman delivers full forced performance that really impresses. Jackman portrays the unflinching rage of his character throughout. It’s a showy performance which leaves an impression. Equally impressive is Jake Gyllenhaal who uses uncontrollable blinking to maximum effect here. Gyllenhaal’s performance is driven and focused, making it one of the best of his career. Rounding out the cast are the criminally underused Paul Dano, Viola Davis and Terrance Howard, who reminds us he can put in a performance when he wants to. Prisoners isn’t a perfect film though. For all its heavy themes and impressive acting, the film keeps the audience at arms length. We see the characters and understand their motivations but there’s a disconnect as well. That disconnect keeps the film from delivering its message home even if it’s a rather bleak one.