I know what to do if I ever want to get an Oscar. I need to write a movie about a missing kid. Prisoners is getting rave reviews, but honestly haven’t drama filled movies about angst filled parents searching for their missing kids just…been…done…to…death. Unfortunately, because it’s pretty much a guaranteed Oscar nomination, we’re going to keep seeing the same movie over, and over, and over again, just wrapped up in a different bow.
Prisoners is nothing new. Hugh Jackman plays Keller Dover, a contractor living in rural Pennsylvania with his wife Grace (Maria Bello). When his 6-year-old daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) is kidnapped along with her best friend Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons), the movie becomes one part exploitation flick, one part lifetime movie with better acting.
Local cop, Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), apprehends Alex Jones (Paul Dano), the driver of a windowless van (dilapidated trailer, whatever clichéd rape mobile you want to picture). Loki doesn’t believe that Jones has anything to do with the disappearance and decides to let the guy go. That’s when Dover shows up to beat a confession out of the suspect.
Of course, there’s other suspects. Like any cop drama, there are loads of other suspects. Every 12 seconds, you’ll find yourself going “it was that guy…wait, no it wasn’t.” In fact, I did it so many times; I just stopped giving a sh-t and decided it was the one armed man.[more…]
I’m sure there were other actors in the film, but following the abduction, it really just focuses on Loki and Dover. Gyllenhaal tried to get across how quirky and unusual Loki is by um,…blinking repeatedly. Jackman plays Dover like Wolverine without the claws. Bello’s role as Grace could have been replaced by a pillow under some blankets.
This movie reminded me of something that was popular during the 70s; torture porn. About 90 minutes of it is Dover thinking of more creative ways to torture Jones, while Loki runs around town investigating suspects and blinking excessively.
Oh god, and the forced prison metaphors. Loki is a prisoner of his own good record and his quirky blinkiness. Dover is a prisoner of his anger. Grace is a prisoner of a sleep-number-mattress and Jones is a prisoner of a psychotic Dover. Seriously at one point I expected director Denis Villeneuve to come into the theater, nudge me in the arm and ask “You get it right? They’re prisoners…” Yes, I got it, I just didn’t care.
Oh, and the ending? The only good thing I can say about it was at least the damn thing was over. The ending was so contrived and unrealistic, you really need to be on something to believe it. Also, why are there so many psycho nut jobs in one small Pennsylvania town? They might as well have just named the town ‘Molesterville.”
In short, Prisoners is your run of the mill missing kid movie. Everyone is a suspect in town filled with crazies. Jackman is angry. Gyllenhaal is broody (when he’s not being blinky). But in the end, you’ll just want to escape.
Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!