The first time that I saw the trailer for Prisoners was sometime in July, and I must say that it hooked me. Hugh Jackman's great screaming and the film's mysterious aura were enough to convince me that this film may actually have something more to it than most of your typical kidnapping, whodunit mysteries. However, as we moved from July to August to September, I had seen the trailer about 11 bazillion times, and I began to question whether the film really had anything else to offer, aside from the dramatic moments in the trailer. The same thing happened with me and World War Z, over the summer, and I still have yet to see that film. Luckily for Prisoners, I had not been to the theater in almost ONE WHOLE MONTH, and I was having serious withdrawals. Thank goodness that Orange is the New Black was there for me, as I attempted to retain my sanity throughout September. So, anyways, I was reluctant and not expecting much, but the movies really needed me... and I wouldn't wanna leave them hanging.
There is no doubt that Prisoners had one of the most unpredictable storylines of the year. Not that the outcome was totally out of left field or anything, but I don't think anyone watching the film could have been absolutely certain of what was going to happen. Personally, I don't think of unpredictability as an overly exciting quality of a film, because I don't try to figure movies out. I just let them happen to me. So, the one aspect of the film that everyone seems to love just doesn't really matter to me. However, throughout the entire film, the drama was very, very real, and that I do appreciate. The only real problem that I had with the plot was how slowly they dwelled on each piece of the plot, making for an unnecessarily long run time. Other than that, kudos to the filmmakers for keeping it dramatic and interesting.
Everything I read says the same exact thing... "Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are great!" and "Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, and Paul Dano are underused!" I'm sorry, but I disagree (for the most part). As I said already, the run time was waaaaay too long, so I don't believe that anybody was underused. Sure, Viola Davis and Paul Dano are great actors, but that doesn't mean that they HAVE TO be the leads or steal the show. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal was NOT great! Was he bad?... No... But he wasn't great.
The only performance that I did not care for was that of Melissa Leo, who played Holly Jones, the mother-figure of Paul Dano's Alex. Her makeup and hair just didn't look real at all, so I couldn't take her seriously. That's probably all it was, though.
Following his Golden Globe winning performance in Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman did not disappoint as crazed, confused father-figure, Keller Dover. Prisoners contained a lot of emotion, but no other character's emotion was brought into the spotlight as much as Keller's. Additionally, Maria Bello, who played Keller's Wife, Grace, was absolutely phenomenal. Of the parental characters, no one showed a wider range of emotions than Grace, which made Bello's performance all the more impressive.
Although I didn't absolutely love Prisoners, I would definitely suggest it for those of you who like to try to figure stuff out. Just make sure that you use the bathroom before you go into the theater! Jackman definitely has a shot at another Oscar nom with his performance in this film, so congrats to him. Maybe his newfound success will help him steer clear of Wolverine, after Days of Future Past is finished. We all know he needs to hang up that towel! I'm just glad that I finally had something to go watch! Even though my birthday is in September, it sure sucked to be without movies to watch for a month. If you want a slow, mellow film that is quite dry, rough, and dramatic, Prisoners is for you. It just wasn't enough for me to have sacrificed 2.5 hours of my life for it. I give Prisoners 3.14 out of 5 stars.