There are plenty of films about missing children and most are formulaic but from the trailer, which I had to stop half way through because I felt it was going to spoil the film by revealing too much,I thought it had an unusual twist.
But sadly The Captive was a disjointed and ultimately unsatisfying film, which is a real shame because it had promise.
This Canadian thriller stars Ryan Reynolds as Matthew, whose 9 year old daughter Cassandra goes missing and Rosario Dawson as Nicole, the policewoman determined to find the kidnappers along with her partner Jeffrey played by Scott Speedman.
The problems start with the nonlinear storytelling,which done well can be a fantastic way to keep the audience guessing. The Captive starts in the present, 8 years after the kidnapping, then we go back in time to see, or rather not see, the kidnapping and from then on the story jumps back and forth between the past and present. At times it’s obvious where we are in the timeline and not so clear in other scenes. There are quite a few scenes that felt out of place within the narrative.
I felt like the film was trying to be ambiguous when it came to the father, the mother blames him for losing their daughter and Jeffrey, Rosario’s partner on the case suggested the father may have been behind the kidnapping, selling his daughter to pay off debts.
This added to the kidnapping scene itself where you don’t actually see the abduction, felt like this huge red herring that could have been much more subtle but comes across as clumsy. All in all the film was a disappointment, it had potential to be a very creepy film but missed the mark. Much like Prisoners, another recent child abduction film, it had promise but seemed to lose its way.