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THE CAPTIVE (Atom Egoyan). 112 minutes. Opens Friday (September 5). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: N
The Captive bombed at its Cannes premiere, and now, during the opening week of another big film festival (to be clear: it was never submitted to TIFF), we’re finding out why. It’s an overwrought, nonsensical mess of a movie.
Teenager Cass (Alexia Fast) was abducted as a child (played with charm by Peyton Kennedy) from the back of her father’s car in Niagara Falls eight years earlier by a pedophile ring. Now she works for her abuser trolling the internet to lure new victims.
Distraught dad Matthew (Ryan Reynolds) has never stopped looking for her, even though one of the detectives (Scott Speedman) on the case suspects him of foul play. Meanwhile, another detective (Rosario Dawson) has disappeared, and Matthew’s wife, Tina (Mireille Enos), is receiving clues that Cass is still alive.
Rehashing themes from his earlier movies, Egoyan and co-writer David Fraser use an unnecessarily complicated structure to tell the story, which also involves a glowering, ridiculous Kevin Durand as a pedophile even more hackneyed than Stanley Tucci’s in The Lovely Bones and a breezy Bruce Greenwood as his sleazy associate.
But even if the scenes were in chronological order, they would still be weighed down by clunky expository dialogue, characters and situations that go nowhere and terrible acting.
And after its head-scratching continual use in this film, the Queen of the Night’s famous aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute is forever ruined for me.
So thanks for that, Mr. Egoyan.