I mentioned this film in my previous review of The Captive and also compared it to Gone Girl not because of the similarities in the storyline but the similarities in the male protagonist. In Gone Girl we are permanently questioning the main character and whether he is involved in the disappearance of his wife. Although in Prisoners we are not made to question Keller Dover’s (Hugh Jackman) involvement in his child’s disappearance he spirals out of control and has the police against him from the start, making the audience question him as well.
What we get in both Prisoners and Gone Girl is not just a good protagonist but also amazing casting and supporting characters that surround and improve Hugh Jackman and Ben Affleck respectively. I commented on how exceptional Rosamund Pike was in Gone Girl and Jake Gyllenhaal was equally as good in Prisoners and they both added something that The Captive lacked. It’s quite a serious role compared to everything else I’ve seen Hugh Jackman in so I was pleasantly surprised at how good he was and he had me on edge for the entire film.
What I loved about this film is that despite how good the casting and acting was, it wasn’t at all reliant on it because the plot was so clever and so surprising and I had no idea who took his daughter, if she was even still alive, and if she was, if he was going to get her back. In some ways it was a much better film than Gone Girl just because it was a lot easier to follow throughout and trying to figure out what had happened to his daughter made the entire film very compelling. For some reason though it just wasn’t as good. There was nothing missing from Prisoners at all; it had an amazing story, brilliant cast and acting, perfect setting, tension leading up to a surprise twist, it was fantastic, but Gone Girl was just better. I don’t even want to have to compare them against each other because they’re both brilliant and they’re not the two most similar films in the world, but as soon as it had finished the first thought in my head was that it wasn’t as good as Gone Girl.
I think the most disappointing thing is that if I had watched this first and Gone Girl afterwards I would probably say Prisoners is the better film. It was made before Gone Girl as well so maybe I am being unfair in comparing them judging Prisoners as the less entertaining film but it was just what I thought about when I finished it. I’ll finish with a statement of the film on its own as without comparison it is faultless, and everyone involved in making it could not have done a better job.