Overall Grade: (B)
A great story added with solid cast performances and dreary settings make for a fun thriller with potential that was hindered greatly by the directions the story-line chose to use to evolve.
I did enjoy this film despite some of the flaws that were surprisingly obvious.
The cast was solid, Ryan Reynolds in the lead had his moments and conveyed enough emotion (at times) to pull off the grieving father. I say ‘at times’ because there were scenes where his mannerisms and expressions seemed out of place and unrealistic to the situation if he was truly the innocent and grieving father. It felt at times this was to manipulate the script to follow the path the writers wanted, to the cost of some plausibility.
Mireille Enos and Kevin Durand both delivered great performances. Like we have all heard many times, a film is only as good as its villain, and for this one Durand delivered enough of the creep-factor to make for an entertaining role that evoked thought into his inner sinister mentality.
Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman both delivered decent performances, more so Dawson who added a nice side character to the film. Although the chemistry between Dawson/Speedman seemed lacking and the attempt at a love connection later in the film was forced and cliche. The dynamic was clearly only placed in the film to fuel later character actions, much like some of Reynolds forced mannerisms did.
The story was great although the way the writers decided to tell it was almost over-creative as if they were getting to cute with techniques. The sequencing of the timeline playing out of order in many scene only hindered story-line cohesion without adding anything. The jumping around in the beginning of the film was overdone and unnecessary and luckily it slowed as the film progressed but this was something that could have easily been done without. With about 80% of the sequence being taken away their still could have been a handful of flashbacks that would have had greater impact on the suspense.
Overall it was a decent film and worth a watch, the plot felt unique enough and the performances carried the slow pace. The settings were excellent and the relentless winter weather throughout the film only added to the somber tone this story gives. “The Captive” will entertain most of the masses but will also give you only glimpses of the potential the material had.