Prisoners is a dramatic-thriller starring Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover, a Pennsylvania family man whose young daughter – as well as his and his wife Grace’s (Mario Bello) best friends’ (Terence Howard and Viola Davis) daughter – is kidnapped, on a cold and miserable day in the middle of winter.
Soon thereafter, a young – and sympathetic – detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes the case and is quickly able to track down the seemingly-harmless outsider (Paul Dano) who may be responsible. However, when the cops prove unable to find evidence that links Dano’s character to the girls, Keller decides it’s time for him to take matters into his own hands.
The trailer for Prisoners – directed by Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) and scripted by Aaron Guzikowski (Contraband) – is pretty intense, and does suggest that the film may amount to more than “Taken in Pennsylvania, starring Hugh Jackman as Liam Neeson.”
Nevertheless, there are noticeable parallels between Villeneuve’s movie and that popular Luc Besson-scripted Euro-thriller – besides the two sharing a “father becomes a vigilante to rescue his daughter” premise - like, how there seems to be a strong political subtext to Prisoners. (Enough so that some people have begun to wonder if the film may be a not-so-subtle allegory for Guantánamo Bay. Now that sounds like a fun movie, no?)
All joking aside, Prisoners boasts an overall strong cast (with Jackman leading the way); question is, will they be able to elevate Guzikowski’s script, which appears to have its fair share of over-used elements (ex. Gyllenhaal playing a cop who gets too personally-invested in the case)? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.
Prisoners opens in U.S. theaters on September 20th, 2013.