8/10

Denis Villeneuve is fucking fantastic.

Can we not just stop for a second and talk about, or at least accept, that along with a few other great filmmakers working today (Wes Anderson, Matt Johnson, Trey Edward Shults), Denis Villeneuve deserves to be up there by this point of time.

The man not only made a great film with Prisoners, which you can easily watch on Netflix, but he went on to make films such as Sicario, Arrival¸ Enemy and Blade Runner 2049. Seriously, one of the most impressive filmographies for a director that’s only made 16 movies for which I’m sure at least two of them you’ve already watched and thoroughly enjoyed. Much like you will have after watching this film Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The story follows Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover, a father searching for his abducted child, and Gyllenhaal as the cop trying to find the person responsible. As the situation unfolds, the tensions begins to rise and the pressure mounts on Jackman’s character, who knows time is a critical element in the hunt for his missing daughter.

But it’s these aspects of tension that Denis Villeneuve is the master of executing. It’s unsurprising that others who I’ve spoken to have said that they felt the movie experience was mentally exhausting as a whole. Though I didn’t have the same issues, it raises the point that this film is very tense and maintains this at a constant level throughout the plot. You might think it’s too much too handle after watching the film, but for myself, it wasn’t enough of a detriment to the story and I was thoroughly entertained as I’m sure most will be as well.

I also loved how well it was acted, which added to executing the moments of tension so well. Both the leads and supporting cast were great and very realistic to delivering each of their characters motivations throughout the movie. I’ve been particularly championing for Jake Gyllenhaal to get an Oscar next, because man, has he made some great films as of late (Nocturnal Animals, Nightcrawler).

But the mastering entirely belongs to the head honcho Denis Villeneuve, who I felt if the film did not have, would have been yet another squandering of an equally great script. My only real qualms are that the film could have been potentially shorter, given it is a staggering 153 minutes long. Which would explain why some might think of this film as overly mentally draining. I recommend seeing this as it’s one of the best thrillers to come out in the past decade so gooooo check it out. Like right now. Go. What are you doing? See it. Come on. It’s great. There’s so many other pieces of shit out there like A Wrinkle In Time and I don’t know, Maze Runner The Death Cure. See this instead. It’s fantastic.

9 comments

  1. He is, he is! Not just able and talented but gutsy too. I’ve been watching all I can from him.

    As for Jake, there was a moment he was stalking me – every film I chose there he was! 😮 No wonder that I didn’t like Enemy so much. One Jake is a-plenty, let alone two. 😀

    But yes, I found this film a brilliantly crafted example of filmmaking proper. As a result, I was almost physically sick since I got drawn into the story so much. And the story is far from pleasant. Still, one wishes this is how more of them would make their films.

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