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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Movie Review - The Captive

The Captive (2014)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand, Alexia Fast, and Bruce Greenwood
Directed by Atom Egoyan
***This film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime***

The Captive is an odd movie.  From the opening scene, we know who the bad guy is since we see him keeping a teenage girl locked away in a room.  So the suspense of that aspect of Atom Egoyan's film is moot right from the get-go.  The question we find ourselves asking then is "Why has he kept this girl alive for eight years since kidnapping her?"

As Egoyan's film jumps around through time (to presumably keep things [unsuccessfully] suspenseful), we drift back to the day when young Cass was kidnapped out of her father's truck while he went in to buy a pie at a local Canadian diner.  Upon his return, Matthew (Ryan Reynolds) finds his daughter missing and his life turned upside down as his wife Tina (Mireille Enos) blames him for their daughter's disappearance and two cops (Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman) think Matthew is hiding something from them.

Of course, we know that Matthew isn't the culprit.  Instead it's Mika (Kevin Durand), a put-together soft-spoken weirdo of a guy who keeps the now teenage Cass (Alexia Fast) locked up in a room, providing for her whatever she needs in terms of food, clothing, and other leisure items.  As part of this weirdly sick game Mika is playing (which doesn't seem to involve any sexual favors with the teen), he places cameras at her mother's place of work so Cass can still connect with her and promises Cass that he will allow her to see her father again for a few brief minutes.  Even when Mika's motive for keeping Cass alive is revealed, it seems odd -- just as odd as the twisted and completely far-fetched and unbelievable game he's playing with Cass and her family.

I can't say I hated The Captive.  I did find that it kept my interest mostly throughout, but that was partly because it was so strange.  It helps that Egoyan's eye behind the camera keeps the drab Canadian landscape seem like an ominous character in and of itself.  Also, Ryan Reynolds is quite good here as the beleaguered dad, proving he really can stretch his dramatic muscles successfully if he so desires.  Rosario Dawson also gives one of her better performances, but her character is unfortunately drafted into one of the more ludicrous aspects of the plot -- and the one that the film tries to "hide" from us as long as possible thanks to the time twisting.  Atom Egoyan unfortunately makes films that I find myself always thinking have potential, but never deliver and The Captive really isn't an exception.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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