Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prisoners - Great Crime Thriller, Over the Top Acting

Prisoners was a great thriller but had some acting which was a little over the top.  The film focuses on the Dover family who live a quiet, normal suburban life alongside their friends the Birch family.  While attending Thanksgiving dinner at the Birches the families let their daughters Anna and Joy return to the Dover household up the street to search for Anna’s missing whistle.  However, as the families go their separate ways later in the evening they quickly realize that the girls are missing.  Anna’s father Keller played by Hugh Jackman frantically begins searching all over for the girls along with Joy’s father Franklin played by Terrence Howard.  A strange RV which was parked in the neighborhood immediately grabs their attention and they report it to the authorities.  The investigation into the girls disappearance and the RV is led by Detective David Loki, a greasy veteran detective played by Jake Gyllenhaal  who has never left a case unsolved.  The RV is quickly located and the driver, Alex Jones, played by Paul Dano is arrested and brought in for questioning.  Keller is convinced of his guilt and when the police fail to find any evidence linking him to the crime despite hours of interrogation and meticulous police work, Alex is released.  Keller becomes enraged and after realizing the police are not going to be actively looking into Alex any further, he decides to take matters into his own hands.  From there a well thought out and surprising thriller unfolds as Keller begins to make choices that make him no better than the kidnappers.  Shocking twists and turns follow as Detective Loki follows all leads and is eventually led to a stunning conclusion tying together a multitude of subtle clues.  Overall the film was entertaining and kept the viewer enthralled as you constantly wonder who the kidnapper is, where the girls are, or if they are even still alive.  Not having any children, it’s hard for me to comprehend how it feels to have one go missing; however, Hugh Jackman’s performance seemed rather over the top and extreme.  The same goes for Gyllenhaal’s performance as Detective Loki.  While he comes across as a committed and caring detective his methods are beyond extreme and would get any detective in the real world suspended or even fired.  That being said, the movie was surprising and keeps you guessing which is what anyone wants in a good crime thriller.

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