"Prisoners", the Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle, had a fantastic opening weekend. It brought in 21.4 million dollars and is the number one film in America.The movie also stars Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, and Paul Dano and is about a kidnapping and subsequent police investigation by Gyllenhaal's Detective Loki.
The individual acting performances by Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano are fantastic. Hugh Jackman in particular completly disappears into this role as a worried father named Keller Dover, out to get revenge on the man he believes has kidnapped his daughter and her friend. Jake Gyllenhaal, who seems to have a fondness for slightly out of the norm thrillers such as "Prisoners", tries something new as the dark Detective Loki with mostly positive results.
However, the film plot wise is completely all over the map. The story jumps around, none of the characters are likable, and the ending is both frustrating and predictable.Viola Davis and Terrence Howard are criminally underused in this film and their characters, the other set of parents of the kidnapped girls, add little to the overall story beyond some awkward moral ambiguity. Maria Bello as Grace Dover, Keller's wife is absolutely the worst thing about "Prisoners." She takes what could have been an interesting turn as a grieving mother into a grating, hysterical mess. Dylan Minnette (TV's "Awake") as Ralph Dover, Grace and Keller's teenage son, shows promise, but like Howard and Davis is underused.
Overall, "Prisoners" is an okay movie but unlike it's predecessor, the similarly themed, In the Bedroom, one won't leave the theater still pondering the film. See it in Hartford at the Bowtie Cinemas.