PRISONERS is not your average Dudefest movie. What it lacks in explosions and catchphrases, it more than makes up for in twisted plotlines and pit-sinking-are-my-pants-wet?-feelings in your stomach. PRISONERS stars Hugh Jackman as a religious, backwoods father whose daughter is abducted on Thanksgiving. Jake Gyllenhaal co-stars as the detective in charge of the case. Paul Dano plays Alex Jones, a man with a child’s IQ whose camper was parked near where the girls were last seen.
The plot slowly descends into gruesome, stomach-churning, I-legitimately-may-have-just-pooped-my-pants territory when Hugh Jackman decides to take the law into his own hands and interrogate Alex Jones without the help of the police, in an attempt to find his daughter and her bud. Much of the film is a great, edge-of-your-seat thriller and there wasn’t a moment in the film that I wasn’t worried about unleashing my bowels all over the couch I was sitting on.
Hugh Jackman is wildly out of his normal range here. Usually he's the charming nice guy, or Wolverine, or a gay icon. Here he plays an unsophisticated carpenter whose favorite song is “The Star-Spangled Banner” (This alone gives the film solid dudefest.com credentials). He keeps a basement stocked full of survival gear, “Hope for the best, prep for the worst,” he says.
As the film progresses, we see his descent into desperation. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers a fantastic performance as Detective Loki (you know, from THOR: THE WORLD OF DARKNESS), a lonesome, driven man who has “solved every case he’s ever had.” He becomes far more invested in the case than his superiors, and goes above and beyond attempting to find the girls.
The relentless rain and gray color scheme that permeates the film captures the bleak world these families live in. I mean religiously fanatic conservative America? Talk about a living hell, amirite? At times the film plays almost like a horror film, including the constant checking of your pants for unsolicited wetness, but it avoids the gimmicks that make horror films annoying to watch, like having sex with pretty girls instead of looking for killers (although we at Dudefest.com would never advocate not having sex). The film keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the two and a half hour runtime. Finally, if there is any advice I can give you, it is to watch this movie with a female companion. The suspense will keep her awake throughout the whole thing and afterwards there is NO WAY either of you will want to sleep alone that night. Just don't poop yourself in front of her, that will probably turn her off to any thoughts of sexy times if my night was any indicator.