'Prisoners' makes a killin in first weekend
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 16:09
Aaron Guzikowski and Academy Award-nominated director Denis Villeneuve come together to deliver what might be this year’s number one thriller in “Prisoners.”
Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a simple man who seems to believe in two things: responsibility and family. When Keller’s friends, Franklin (Terrance Howard) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis), invite him and his family over for dinner one fall day, nothing seems awry.
The families stuff their faces and then the kids go play by themselves while the adults have their time together.
It all seems rather routine until the two families’ youngest children, Anna Dover (Erin Gerasimovich) and Joy Birch (Kyla-Drew Simmons) suddenly go missing. The family is sure they must have just run off, but as the hours pass, they grow more frantic.
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), the tattooed maverick who has never left a case unsolved is called in to investigate the crime. After they’ve linked the young girl to an RV driven by a young man named, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), they take him into custody.
It is clear, initially, that Jones is developmentally disabled, and he is soon released much to the shagrin of Dover.
Dover takes upon himself to drive to the police station as Jones is being released where he is convinced that Jones taunts him in a very specific way about his daughter’s disappearance.
Dover decides he must take things into his own hands if he is to ever find his daughter. On the other side, Detective Loki follows every lead he comes across in an effort to get closer to the truth behind the girl’s disappearance.
As cliché as it may seem, this movie embodies the idea that “no one and nothing are as they seem.” Nothing is for sure, and the conclusion to this film hinges on one man’s quest to find his daughter.
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver beyond stellar performances in this cerebral suspense-thriller. Jackman is intense and raw, completely engrossing the audience in his more-than-believable portrayal of a deranged father determined to find his daughter.
While Gyllenhaal’s character’s name is quite hilarious, his character’s attitude isn’t. He is a man hell-bent on seeking justice and truth, and in the end, he must test his limits as he tries to solve the case of his career.
Viola Davis, Terrance Howard, and Paul Dano put in wonderful, supporting performances. Melissa Leo who plays Jones’ mom deserves a tip of the hat as well.
To be candid, this movie has a few logical inconsistencies that the average audience member can pick out. Yet, it still doesn’t distract from the gritty, dark, intensity of this film.
It’s roughly two-and-a-half hours long, but there is not a single moment where you can sit still in your seat. It’s emotional, abysmal, at times gruesome, and overall a rather enjoyable film.
If you’re busy deciding what movie to see this weekend, stop contemplating. With a $21 million debut, this film will leave you reeling but ultimately satisfied. It’s worth the watch.
4.5 out of 5