Title – The Captive (2014)
Director – Atom Egoyan (Where the Truth Lies)
Cast – Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, Mireille Enos, Bruce Greenwood, Alexia Frost
Plot – When Matthew (Reynolds) and Tina’s (Enos) daughter Cassandra is seemingly abducted from thin air one day, detectives Nicole (Dawson) and Jeffrey (Speedman) will spend the next 8 years wondering who is innocent and who is guilty and whether or not Cassandra is still alive.
“You people can’t even do your job, all you can do it turn my wife against me”
Review by Eddie on 21/09/2015
Yet another frustrating experience from the mind of the increasingly scattershot approach of Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, The Captive will enthral many a time but also leave your mouth wide a gasp with its stupidity to produce a film that has serious potential fall into a bottomless pit of unbelieveability and scenarios that should have been culled in the script writing process.
Egoyan has been making films since the 1980’s and during the late 90’s/early 2000’s made a name for himself with a series of highly regarded dramas like The Sweet Hereafter (in which he received a Best Director nomination at the Oscars) and Exotica, yet has since found himself languishing on the edge of the cliff of irrelevancy with some downright forgettable recent productions like Chloe and the abysmal Devils Knot, which the Captive can’t haul him back in from.
Egoyan’s recent problems seem to stem from a striving to be overly important or overly complicated and the Captive has far too many ideas bundled into is far more simple presence that just don’t work. Without heading to far into the spoiler realms, the Captive has at least 3 major moments where your left wondering what on earth just happened and not in a good way, character motivations get twisted and turned and character decisions will be questioned long after the credits rolled. It’s a shame as the Captive’s first act is quite strong and the performances universally solid, yet not enough so to make a bizarre script job work.
Ryan Reynolds delivers one of his better big screen turns as concerned father Matthew wishing he could get his little girl back while dealing with the grief of perhaps being to blame for her disappearance and Rosario Dawson is fine as dedicated detective Nicole. Others in the piece are a little over the top with particular mention of Kevin Durand as the big bad and the yet again annoying Mireille Enos as Matthew’s estranged wife Tina, but it’s little wonder they don’t resonate when the film ever so surely slips away into an almost dream like state of implausibility.
A strong set up, a finely crafted mood and some strong acting turns can’t help rescue the Captive from its shackles of bad script writing and worryingly mistreated concepts and in the end this is yet another throwaway entry into the once promising Egoyan’s filmography that is quickly becoming a story of what might have been.
2 Garfield toys out of 5