The Horror Honeys: How Far Would You Go?

How Far Would You Go?

A Revenge Honey Better Late Than Never Review of Prisoners

No matter how silly or serious, dramatic or B-movie cheesy, every revenge movie asks the same question: how far are you willing to go for revenge? Even Oscar films like Gladiator and Zero Dark Thirty have explored just what people are willing to sacrifice in order to obtain some sort of vengeance. This concept is the entire core of Prisoners, starring (deep breath) Hugh Jackman, Terrance Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano. (They all deserve a mention because they all carry equal footing in this superbly acted film.)

The Story: On Thanksgiving Day, two little girls are kidnapped from their neighborhood; the only evidence is that before they disappeared, their older siblings saw them playing on a dirty old RV. While a committed but increasingly frustrated police detective chases down dwindling leads, the girl's fathers take justice into their own hands in an attempt to find their daughters. However, the question becomes: when you are chasing down the truth through the blind rage of vengeance... will you find the truth at all?

The Performances: This is one of those movies where you think the trailer is telling you the whole story, but in fact, it's telling you next to nothing. You know going in that Jackman and Howard kidnap the man they think is responsible for their girls' abduction, but this scant knowledge doesn't even get you to the half-way point. And the most frustrating thing for me I attempt to review Prisoners is, I struggle to explain how utterly brilliant and gut-wrenching this film actually is, all without giving away what makes it so. Thus: performances it is!

I genuinely believe that I have seen every Hugh Jackman film ever. Ever. I even saw Kate and Leopold and I HATE romantic comedies (and Meg Ryan's new "face.") And THIS Hugh Jackman is one that I have never seen before. As the survivalist father of one of the missing girls, Jackman has a seething undercurrent of rage and pain that bubbles so close to his surface, every scene is poised to explode. He commands every moment, every inch of the screen in a way that is utterly palpable. Prisoners brings us one of Hugh Jackman's best roles to date.

And the same goes for Jake Gyllenhaal. This is also a side of the actor that is completely untapped before now. As the detective in charge of the case, Gyllenhaal is gruff, desperate, and out of control. This is the Jake Gyllenhaal of End of Watch, The Good Girl, and Zodiac: i.e. one that I wish would show up more often. His volatile side is his best side and he brings this trait in spades to Prisoners.

The supporting cast is just as phenomenal here, as you'd expect from actors of this caliber. Specifically, Paul Dano, who is easily one of the best indie actors working right now. He hardly speaks ten lines in Prisoners, yet each one tears you in ten different directions throughout the film. It's a remarkable performance and once that stands of a major chance of recognition once award season rolls around. (This film is definitely getting nods.)

The Point: Again, it's impossible to explain why you should see this movie without giving too much away. But the complexity of the story combined with the remarkable performances will basically rip your heart out multiple times throughout the film, yet keep you so engrossed, you can't look away. Prisoners is as much about redemption as it is about revenge, but in the end, you are still left with the same question...

If the price of revenge is your soul, are you willing to pay?

Revenge Honey Stabby Points: ALL THE STABBY POINTS (5 out of 5)