<Todd>’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Where's my daughter!!!!!! Where's my daughter!!!!" - One of Hugh Jackman's 8 lines he says over and over again.
Wow, a film that's pro-torture ranked above 4.0. Color me surprised.
In Prisoners, two families have their six year old daughters taken. The prime suspect is a man with mental disabilities who the fathers believe has committed the crime. When the police can't help, Hugh Jackman's toxic dickhead character goes aggro on the suspect and played out debates about the tension between individual liberty and utilitarian dick energy take place to mostly fine results.
I still like this film but I think it's the most overrated movie with an above 4 average on letterboxd that I've encountered. Generally, I find that vigilante films are for people too immature to understand the complexity of the world or grown men who pose with their guns in the mirror and dream about stopping an active shooter, but Prisoners is an exception. I still hate the police's hands tied narrative, which is played out and ironically hurts police efforts in missing child cases, but this does add some to the general area of kidnapping based thrillers and dramas. The performances are stellar and the mystery part of the film is interesting.
For me, its just a good procedural and not the masterpiece it's being portrayed to be. It doesn't take much to make people feel emotional about missing children but in this movie they are just a pawn for vigilante torture porn. Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU do it almost every week in 1/4 the time of this movie. The film very quickly puts you into a position where you want to know if the guy is innocent and so the dads are being bad or the guy is guilty so what they dads do is good. I understand the dad's motivations but what they are doing is wrong either way so I just didn't really care how it played out or what happened to these girls that I got to see for 2 minutes at the beginning. To me, it's just not effective movie language for understanding this sort of trauma in any special way.
I think this is a film that is propped up more by wish fulfillment and love for Jake than for cinematic excellence but I'm sure there is an angry group of boys that can convince me otherwise... or beat it into me.
Recommended to: people that are scared of everything, people that dream about beating up punks, fans of procedurals, and people that haven't already watched the Vanishing, which this kind of rips off the tension from.
P.S. That damn whistle is ...