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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Movie Review: The Captive

What would you do if your child was taken? In December 2014, even though there was nothing they could do, Matthew and Tina never gave up hope.

Directing this 112 minute thriller is Atom Egoyan.

Some of the cast is: Ryan Reynolds as Matthew, Mireille Enos as Tina, Alexia Fast as Cass, Rosario Dawson as Nicole, Scott Speedman as Jeffery and Kevin Durand as Mika.

It's been eight years since Matthew and Tina's daughter, Cass, was abducted. Officers Nicole and Jeffrey haven't stopped looking for Cass, but without any clues there isn't much they can do. Matthew and Tina's
lives have been torn through for clues to Cass's disappearance, but nothing seems to help the case. No new clues and no body found just leaves everything up in the air, and two parents holding on to a bit of hope. With no body, Cass could still be alive after all these years... right?

The storyline that writers Atom Egoyan and David Fraser gave us was a... good idea. Unfortunately, by the time it's all said and done, the story winds up kind of weak. One of the cool things is that the storyline is split up into two timelines, the past and the present, which Egoyan uses to tell the story out of sync. The subject matter, child abduction, is a scary tale for any parent to watch. You're constantly thinking about what if that was me going through this, what would I do?  I found myself fighting those very thoughts. Sadly however, the idea of the story is the only real nerve racking thing this one has going on. The script it's self is kind of flat and doesn't really stir up much emotion, every now and then yes, but otherwise not really.

The playthrough wasn't all that great I'm afraid, mainly because of the way Egoyan chose to split up the timeline of the story. The problem was you couldn't always tell which was which. There was just a seamless transition between scenes, which meant you had to really be paying attention and do some math to figure out where you were (time-wise) in the story. Having to do some work just to watch a movie isn't really enjoyable to me. Unless it's a mystery flick, then I'm all over trying to figure out "who done it". The pace of the film is pretty slow most of the time, which I didn't mind, but it ran a bit longer than it should have. Egoyan could have shaved a few minutes here and there with plenty of time left to tell the story. Yes, watching someone in turmoil or pain helps the audience connect with the character. Doing it over and over again with little changing in the scenes gets old and boring. You can still do the same scenes to show this situation is happening again and again, but at least mix it up a bit. 
                                                   


I was impressed by the cast. Reynolds character is a bit of a change up for him. Leaving the fun loving, funny guy behind, Reynolds takes on a character that is weak, helpless, angry and scared. Whereas I've liked Reynolds' comedies, he's proven he's worth more than just a few laughs, and this one shows just that. However, the script just wasn't strong enough to really give Dawson, Speedman and Durand room to show their skills. Dawson and Durand especially, have shown they can do a great job, but you can't really do much when you have such bland and generically written characters and a story that doesn't have any character growth. 

Overall, between the cast power and the topic, this should have been a killer movie, but it wasn't. Reynold fans will probably catch this one for the Reynold factor, which will give this flick a few more showings than it deserves. I'm not recommending anyone give their time to it.

It's rated R for violence and language.

2 stars

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