Viewed – 29 September 2018 Netflix
I’d heard good things about this 2013 thriller but had not got around to watching until last night. Starring two actors I always enjoy, Hugh Jackman and especially Jake Gyllenhaal … this looked like essential viewing from the very moment I’d heard about it. Telling the story of two suburban families who’s young daughters go missing one day, this follows the ensuing investigation that doesn’t bring many leads, causing Jackman’s father to take the law into his own hands. He decides to abduct the number one suspect and beat out some answers, whilst at the same time the detective in charge of the case, Gyllenhaal attempts to unravel and mystery.
Directed by the acclaimed Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Blade Runner 2049) this is a taught and hard-hitting with above average performances not only from the leads but also Maria Bello. Unlike similar missing persons movies this raises questions of what’s right and wrong, although never did I not understand the desperation and pain experienced by the worried parents. With echoes of movies like (the underrated) Death Sentence and Zodiac, the gradually complex investigation is delivered with no end of tension, twists and turns. It kept this viewer guessing throughout and even if the final reveal is a little too neat, I was still left satisfied.
It’s a lengthy movie but never slow or stretched out and kept me gripped. A few questions are left unanswered at the end, with a mystery considering a character’s obsession with mazes left up in the air. But this was still solid entertainment with atmospheric direction and a stunning turn from Jackman making him one of the best working today. And to think I came to this for Gyllenhaal who whilst very good is left overshadowed.
Verdict: 4 /5