Even Without Claws Hugh Jackman is Out For Justice in Prisoners
As we inch ever closer to the Mid to Late Fall Ba-BOOOM of Film Festival breakouts and Award Season Darlings entering the box office cage match, you can see things are starting to ramp up. This week, rather than pre-capping the You Got Served-esque Sawyer from Lost/Chris Brown vehicle, Battle of the Year, we’re taking a quick peek at Prisoners- the Marky Mark Wahlberg produced movie starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaall.
Synopsis via Wikipedia – After his six-year-old daughter Anna and her best friend Joy are kidnapped on Thanksgiving small town carpenter Keller Dover butts heads with young, brash detective Loki in charge of the investigation. After searching, Dover’s son Ralph mentions an old RV, owned by Alex Jones. Feeling failed by the law, Dover captures Jones, the man he believes responsible, holding him captive in a desperate attempt to find out what he did with the girls, whom he is convinced are still alive. But the further he goes to get the man to confess, the closer he comes to losing his soul.
Now, I know what you’re thinking- no way this could be actually good, right? Based on the time of release (early Fall), the vigilante premise more closely associated with B-movies (Walking Tall, Death Wish 1-100), and bleak BLEAK subject matter, this is probably going to be some kind of paint by number thriller. Well stop thinking that way, because according to every source I can find, this movie is allegedly awesome. Say what you want about Mark Wahlberg, but the man knows how to pick a hit; especially when he is the producer. After taking first runner up for People’s Choice at the Toronto International, Prisoners continued to rack up favor with audiences and has maintained extremely positive reviews on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. I’ve shaken my movie magic 8-ball and all things are pointing to “Yea- Let’s Check This Out.”
Casting – Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, and Maria Bello lead a cast of solid underutilized mega talented actors. This is an Ocean’s Eleven group of actor’s actors. Plus bonus points for Wolverine going head to head with a character named Loki that isn’t the Norse God of Mischief.
Plot – While bleak, this movie screams tension, angst, and revenge. All things that make for a great movie going experience.
History – Other than Kate and Leopold, I can’t think of one movie starring Hugh Jackman that I didn’t enjoy. The guy is a movie star in every sense of the word. I even sat through Les Mis on the off chance Hugh Jackman’s claws would pop out and slice revolutionary era France in half. Spoiler alert – he did not. If Jackman is involved, the project cannot be any worse than a B-. When in doubt, go with history- it seldom lays.
- Kidnapped kids and a father hell bent on revenge? Not uplifting. Not at all. This is probably not a great first date movie.
Five out of the seven principle actors have been nominated for Oscars. That’s an amazing feat of casting. While the subject matter is a little heavier than most movies in wide distribution right now, it is going to be a tour de force of harrowing performances. If this is your thing, great news… Prisoners is out today.
SHOULD YOU SEE IT?
Eventually. Normally, I try to pick a movie that I think people would want to go see to get away from their lives for a few hours. Movies should be escapist fantasies. They should give their audiences the chance to forget about the fact they forgot to pay their bills on time, or how many calls they have to make at work on Monday. The best movies allow you to project yourself onto the characters you see on screen. Projecting oneself onto a small town carpenter turned vigilante over family trauma is probably not on your top five movie escapist adventures. If that’s the case, you can wait to see Prisoners. If you love the movies as much as I do and want to see some of the strongest performances you’ve seen in a while by some actors at the top of their game, than this is for you. Or, you can go see Chris Brown and Sawyer from Lost break-dance in Battle of the Year.