Felt Like Life

Hugh Jackman in Prisoners (2013)

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a man who lives by the motto be prepared; that is be prepared for anything and do anything. So when whilst at a thanksgiving meal with his friend Franklin (Terrence Howard) and his families his daughter and Franklin's daughter go missing he is proactive in trying to find them whilst the police led by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) track down Alex Jones (Paul Dano) the driver of a dirty RV seen in the area. But when Loki has to let Jones go as he has nothing to hold him for it forces Keller to take matters in to his own hands and this desperate father is willing to do what ever it takes to protect his family.

Okay so "Prisoners" is two and a half hours long and I can break things down to a few sentences as on one hand we have Keller Dover who is willing to some seriously extreme things to try and find out where his daughter is, breaking the law in so many ways to achieve his goal. On the other hand we have Detective Loki who whilst trying to solve the case has one eye on Keller due to the disappearance of a man who was the first suspect. That is it and so for 150 minutes this movie plays out, often in mind numbing silence whilst frequently feeling like it is repeating itself as we see how far Keller will go.

Unfortunately whilst there is no denying that "Prisoners" is well acted, especially the performances of Jackman and Gyllenhaal, and there are definitely some interesting plot twists and themes covered it is for me relentlessly repetitive and painfully drawn out. Now I am not a fan of fast paced movies but the plodding pacing combined with frequent spells of silence makes this movie hard work more than it should have been and it frequently cause my attention to drift because it is never in a hurry to get anywhere. It means that when the twists started to come in the final hour I was losing interest and had certainly stopped caring whether or not children were found, Keller gets away with the extremes he goes to or in fact who was behind it all.

What this all boils down to is that "Prisoners" could have been a good movie, an intense thriller surrounding a missing child and the length a parent will go to find them. But its long drawn out nature made it sadly monotonous and feel overlong.

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