Prisoners ★★★★

A nice little relaxing rewatch before tomorrow’s screening of the most anticipated DUNE (it’s all caps or nothing). Prisoners is bleak from its opening frame, yet Incendies still takes the cake for Denis’ most visceral work? Hugh Jackman manages to match The Prestige (albeit a bit over the top at times) as does Jake Gyllenhaal with Zodiac (though I prefer the younger, more patient Jake in that film). That’s not to say him wrecking his work space isn’t satisfying, or him doing the whole don’t-fuck-with-me cop routine (End of Watch is the good cop out of that pairing). Denis emulating Fincher is critique that’s only partially true, yes there’s traces of this patient slow burn technique starting with Polytechnique but a crime thriller this polished is bound to start comparisons. 

There’s a beauty to the brutality and often misery in his crime films, before he started making sci-fi epics, he was impressing the shit out of my impressionable self back in 2015 with Sicario, which is just ahead of this picture. Both films’ middle sections probably have unnecessary stuffing, but I wouldn’t want my twisted (both psychologically and plot turns) thanksgiving flick to be any other way. Despite it being a tough sit through, I can’t quite get enough of it, it sticks with you similar to Come and See. Obviously Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 are ones I’d rather put on, but Denis’ refusal to conform is what makes his work so special, and why might just get a Dune Part II, against all odds.

Denis Villeneuve Ranked

2013 Ranked

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