Prisoners Review

When I first saw this films trailer I was immediately intrigued; Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhall together in a film on paper says its going to be good. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Despite that, I still enjoyed it.

Two little girls from different families go missing and police launch a frantic search for the two children. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhall) is brought in as the lead whilst both families (Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello & Terrence Howard and Viola Davis) take different approaches to help finding their children.

After a suspect is arrested but then let go because of not enough evidence, Keller Dover (Jackman) takes the law into his own hands, kidnapping the suspect Alex, and turning to torture to try and get the vital information he believes he holds. During these scenes you’re not sure who to feel sorry for more you are constantly left guessing as to whether Alex is in fact the kidnapper.

Even though the initial abduction is gotten to quickly in the film, the story is quite slow on the upkeep, giving the audience a lot of extra layers that eventually all lead up the reveal of the ending. Despite the movie being long, it’s extremely gripping and intense with plenty of twists and turns and conflicting emotions

The differing reactions from the parents and their coping capabilities vary as well, giving the actors more scope; Hugh Jackman takes a very pragmatic approach and gives a great performance -Keller is a man who is prepared to do just about anything to get his daughter back, quickly becoming desperate and angry. In contrast to this, his on-screen wife played by Maria Bello completely crumbles with inconsolable grief: she has to be medicated in order to keep her sedated and calm. The other family played by Terrence Howard and Viola Davis remain calm, and it’s intriguing to see both individual’s battles with their conscience once they discover the truth of Dover’s brutality. Gyllenhall was also great as Loki, compete with his own mannerism in the form of a double blink which added a nice touch to his character. He was calm and collected despite several run ins with Jackman’s character and the red tape that he faced at work.

The ending when it comes is both satisfying but also left open-ended, but as a viewer I was glad that it had finally arrived; it was an incredibly tense movie but even so it felt a little too long for me and I found myself being quite fidgety in the cinema. Despite this I thought it was a solid, gripping movie and one worth seeing if you’re a fan of either Gyllenhall or Jackman.

“Someone has to make him talk or they’re gonna die!” (Keller Dover, Prisoners)

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