'The Captive' [Blu ray]
(Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, et al / Blu ray / R / 2015 / LGF)
Overview: Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she's still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.
Blu ray Verdict: The director of 'The Captive' is 54 year-old Atom Egoyan, OC. A Canadian stage director as well as film, Egoyan made his career breakthrough with 'Exotica' in 1994, but here in 'The Captive' I truly think he was the wrong man for the job. His work often explores themes of alienation and isolation, featuring characters whose interactions are mediated through technology, bureaucracy or other power structures. Indeed, Egoyan's films often follow non-linear plot structures, in which events are placed out of sequence in order to elicit specific emotional reactions from the audience by withholding key information.
All of this is exactly why 'The Captive,' like a kite struggling to initially catch the trails of the wind, fails to soar; only catches flight for a few moments at a time, ultimately flat lining for the majority of the attempted screen time. I mean, it's also a rather telling indicator when a movie studio releases a movie online the same time they release it in the theaters.
Anyway, as for the actual film itself, I watched it with my mother and her long-term boyfriend, and not going into it knowing too much about it (I like to watch movies like that, as it adds a little something to the viewing experience), the storyline is bleak; as is the cinematic scenery, to say the least. It's termed a "psychological thriller' but it is far from any such thing. And quite why the character of Reynolds wants to be a landscaper in permafrost Canada is beyond me also! Enos as his wife, and the WORST hotel housekeeper in the world, is just badly miscast and misused.
The nature of the kidnapper and his motives is expressed right from the beginning, but you may miss some of them because of a somehow confusing time-line of events and narrative. Later everything will be presented even more clearly, but numerous plot holes will annoy you and ruin the experience of the movie. Sorry, but even my mother, who usually watched and talks, but who was relatively silent throughout this, eventually stated that she had lost the plot long ago!
The acting is sub-par and the cast far from suitable, as mentioned. Kevin Durand is a caricature of a master villain and the relationship between the male/female detective leads (Scott Speedman and Rosario Dawson) is just plain awkward, and never fully explained. Also, and for whatever reason the director chose to allow this to come through, Speedman's actions towards "suspect" Reynolds, even whwn he's be proven to be innocent of his own daughters kidnapping, is intolerable. Overacted and angst ridden for no good reason, Speedman is the one cop in the world you just don't want to help you in any situation, trust me! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
"Captive Thoughts" Featurette
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Atom Egoyan