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REVIEW — “The Captive”

An interesting story that is sunk by bad editing and strange plot devices.


Matthew(Ryan Reynolds), a proud father,  makes a quick stop on the way home when his young daughter, Cass (Peyton Kennedy/Alexia Fast), is abducted from the back of his truck.  His wife (Mireille Enos) immediately turns on him, blaming him for her disappearance.  She is joined by a pair of rather biased and unprofessional detectives, Jeffrey (Scott Speedman), and Nicole (Rosario Dawson).  Eight years pass and clues begin to emerge that she is still alive.  A slimmed down Kevin Durand plays Mika, a psycho Mr. Rogers type who is her captor.


All the pieces are in place for an entertaining, if not wholly unique film.  Great actors, a child in peril, independent financing so they don’t have to play by studio rules, but instead the whole thing ends up going sideways pretty quick.  “The Captive” has some of the worst editing in recent memory.  Fractured timelines can be fun and effective, but they have to be utilized carefully, and the audience must be given clues to follow.  Many times in this film the audience has no idea what time period they are watching.  A character that was shown captured in one scene, is suddenly shown interacting with others in the next scene, then later suddenly captured again.  It’s not for several minutes later do you realize ‘Oh.. I guess that was a flashback.”  It’s an unnecessary gimmick that kills an already weak script.  Certain characters behave in ways that make absolutely no sense at all.  It’s amazing Speedman’s character keeps his job for the duration of the film.


It seems that Ryan Reynolds is in these types of films just to remind us that he, is in actuality, a very good actor.  We see him in too many action/comedy/romance roles, where he’s essentially playing the same semi-cocky character, but we forget he has range.  Perhaps, eventually, the right project will come along that will fully showcase his capabilities.

2.5 out of 5 Stars

(Playing exclusively at the FilmBar in Downtown Phoenix)


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