The second page of Hugh Jackman’s contract (following the yadda-yadda preamble and the detailed stipulations regarding minimum minutes of onscreen shirtlessness demanded by the star) is the clause that states that he must, in at least three scenes, look up at the sky and bellow weepily, in what I assume is an Australian approximation of range and anguish. He is such a pompous old hack, even as a redneck, I can no longer take him seriously. Which is a shame, because Prisoners just longs to be taken seriously.
Prisoners is beautifully filmed, in some Pacific North Western suburb (actually Georgia) where it always rains and the light is bleached and dull round the edges. It’s an interesting tale too – two little girls, neighbours, are snatched from the street in broad daylight, and their desperate fathers do unspeakably shocking things to the man they suspect of kidnapping them. There are twists and subplots aplenty, which all tie together nicely if predictably in two hours. Jake Gyllenhaal is great as the detective who’s actually going to solve the crime. But Hugh Jackman? Lost it for me. The moment he opens his self-congratulatory mouth, he just makes it all about him. Sad but there you go.