Prisoners Review


How far would you go to protect the people that you love?

For the Hugh Jackman shaped Keller Dover in Prisoners, these boundaries are more blurred than Robin Thicke’s ideas on consensual sex.

It’s thanksgiving in a small town somewhere in the good ol’ us of a.

A couple of, well, couples with kids are having dinner, eating apple pie and partaking in some more of those all american dream type clichés.

When dinner is over, everyone retires to the living room where one of the dads, a fellow by the name of Franklin Birch played by the always excellent Terrence Howard, decides he wants to embarrass himself and his family by playing some songs on a trombone or some other such brass instrument.

Being of sound mind and reason, the two little girls that belong to these families decide getting out of here is just about the best thing they can do.

So, with their parents blessing, they skip down the street to their tree-house or something having promised to check in with their older brothers and sisters who are still at the Dover household.
I just hope Keller didn’t christen his son Benjamin.

When Dover senior and his wife return home to find the girls didn’t ever make it back, and that they’re not at the Birch residence either, panic swiftly ensues.

As does a phone call to the local police force where Detective Loki, a man who’s solved every case he’s ever worked on, is tasked with finding the two missing girls.

And when the resident neighbourhood weirdo takes off in his in no way rapey caravan when approached by Loki and his fellow officers, it seems like this is going to be a pretty straightforward case.

Only there’s no evidence to tie said weirdo, played by the equally weird looking Paul Dano, to the missing girls, so Detective Loki indulges his mischievous side and releases him without charge.

Convinced that his neighbour knows something about his little girl’s disappearance, Dover has to decide just how far he’s willing to go to protect the people he loves.

Prisoners is the first english language film by French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve whose last film was the excellent Incendies, so it’s no surprise when his new film turns out to be the most compelling film I’ve seen this year.

With a slow burning, labyrinthine plot that will keep you gripped til it all boils over at the very end, Villeneuve and writer Aaron Guzikowski have created a film that will restore your faith in the idea that Hollywood can still make intelligent films that are equally entertaining.

Featuring an all-star cast, Prisoners big draw is undoubtedly watching Wolverine and Donnie Darko face off in the same film.

And as these two superheroes go about reaching the same conclusion in very different ways, you get to see just how far they’re willing to go to save the day.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

September 2013