You may know by now (if you follow my reviews) that I get very emotionally involved when watching a movie.
That being said……………Prisoners was probably not the best movie for me to watch. The movie started……and I didn’t stop crying until it ended. I was shaking through the entire thing. At one point, I had to remind myself to breath. This may just be me, or it may be that this movie is the most intense I have ever seen, without even trying.
This is a high blood pressure patient’s worst nightmare. I don’t even have high blood pressure and I needed a pill afterward. Or a drink. Or valium. Or something. I felt like I was having a panic attack. My hands didn’t stop shaking until almost an hour after it ended.
Prisoners is a gut-wrenching, emotional thriller that leaves you feeling as if you just ran a marathon, in which you were chased by a psychotic killer the entire time. The movie isn’t action packed. Nor does it have extended car chases or long shootouts. It is a slow, creeping, nightmare that builds suspense by digging deep into each character and throwing their agony in your face until you break.
The performances are stellar. Hugh Jackman makes up for his showtunes Valjean interpretation in Les Mis, and proves that he really is a great actor. I wasn’t watching Hugh Jackman or Wolverine or the Australian drover. I was watching an American father deteriorate over the abduction of his daughter. A father who is willing to risk everything to find her and be the hero she sees him as. A father who does not give up hope, even when all hope seems lost. Every time he cried, I cried. Every time he got angry, I got angry.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Detective Loki, who frustratingly must track down the child abductor while butting heads with Jackman’s destructive character. We never learn anything about his past, other than the fact that he has solved every case he has been assigned. Dawning a dramatically layered haircut and several tattoos, he goes on an intense and pressure filled search for the two missing girls and their abductor. Some may doubt Gyllenhaal’s acting talent, but this guy is far from just a piece of glorious eye candy man flesh. He is phenomenal in this role.
Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano provide a spectacular supporting cast. They delivered Oscar quality acting with only a few scenes between each. Whoever cast this movie hit gold.
I believe this was an original screenplay. The trailer sets this film up as a thriller in which two girls go missing on Thanksgiving and Hugh Jackman goes nuts on the released suspect. This is all true………however that is just the tip of the iceberg. Basically the trailer only covers about half an hour to an hour of the film, and it is two and a half hours long. It gets real. Fast. I didn’t see the ending coming. The entire movie makes you doubt and question everything. Just when you think you know who did it, you are wrong. Or are you? Nope you are right! Wait no……just kidding. Maybe it was the other guy? Nope it isn’t. It is definitely the first guy. Wait…..ok maybe not? Were they even kidnapped? Hold on a second….
That is the frustration the characters and you will be dealing with. Have fun.