In the latest thriller from ‘Devil’s Knot’ director Atom Egoyan, Ryan Reynolds plays Matthew, a father whose daughter Cass is abducted from their own car while he is inside a cafe for mere minutes buying a pie. Over the next eight years, the search continues as members of the police still suspect Matthew, while also delving deep into the seedy and horrifying world of child pornography rings.
Told from the perspective of multiple characters - the father, mother (Mireille Enos), detectives (Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman), abductor (Kevin Durand) and abductee (Alexia Fast) - the film follows a non-linear timeline and breaks the bigger picture into its three basic principals: the hunter, the hunted and those left in its wake, often blurring the line between the three roles. Choosing to cover so many angles over such a long period of time, the tone lends itself to the idea of a big reveal and ultimate twist to this slow-burning story, yet never quite delivers. Each character is set up as a puzzle piece, with no actual puzzle to solve, just distasteful narrative.
‘The Captive’ is disjointed and convoluted to say the least. It’s biggest issue is the fantastical ideas being put forth. The dialogue is melodramatic with each person delivering prose laden with subtext that doesn’t exist. Each idea is spread too thin, causing the film to overcompensate and digress into the absurd.
Reynolds and Enos deliver powerful performances as the parents struggling to stay afloat and get through each day. It’s their story and talents that drive the film; ignore everything else and you’ll end up with a decent product.