Prisoners Extended TV Spot Offers Little New Footage But Nails The Suspenseful Tone
For its first TV spot, Warner Bros.’ kidnapper thriller Prisoners goes beyond the general 15-30 second ads and gives viewers a full minute of preview. After the film’s second trailer came out in June, I honestly didn’t think there was anything left of this movie to see. Seriously, it looks like everything but the final ten minutes was shown. Seeing that the above TV spot gives away just as much information wasn’t surprising, but it actually felt a lot tighter than the theatrical trailer.
It also managed to sneak in like…two seconds worth of new footage, including a few shots of people getting all up in Paul Dano’s gross face. But that’s about it. The rest of it is guided by an interesting countdown ticking off the oh-so-important hours following a kidnapping during which the police have the best chance of finding the person. While its repeated use temporarily made me mistake this film for a CBS summer drama, the thriller aspect of Prisoners was more recognizable, whereas before it reminded me more of Gone Baby Gone, just with Hugh Jackman’s growl-filled vengeance replacing the city of Boston.
In the film, Jackman plays Keller Dover, who with his wife Grace (Maria Bello) is having a nice night with their friends, played by Terrence Howard and Viola Davis. The young daughters of both couples get kidnapped without a trace, spinning everyone’s lives out of control. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Detective Loki, whose name will probably play to his nature in the film, as he and Keller butt heads over the way the investigation is going (poorly). Dano and his awful, awful looking hair and make-up play a suspect, though both the trailer and above clip make damn sure to tell us that he might not be the guy.
What gives this film an edge is the revenge aspect, where Jackman takes matters into his own hands. But he isn’t doing it for very long, so I wonder if my expectations have led me astray here. I’ve no doubt Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is capable of making a decent film out of anything, though the screenwriter, Aaron Guzikowski, has only Contraband behind him, and I’d really rather not have to judge him based on that. Here’s hoping this very dependable cast, which includes Melissa Leo, brings it all to the table for Prisoners, which hits theaters on September 20.
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