Sep 19, 2013

    Quick takes


    Crime thriller/152 minutes

    Rating: 4/5

    THIS could easily have been a run-of-the-mill, crime-of-the-week telemovie-type affair. But in the hands of French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners is a gripping thriller that does not let up until the final frame.

    In the film, six-year-old Anna and Joy, seven, are abducted during Thanksgiving.

    Suspicion falls on Alex Jones (Paul Dano). Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) races against time as he tries to track down the girls. And Anna's father, Keller Dover, (Hugh Jackman) will do anything to get her back.

    Jackman's intense grief and explosive anger make Dover a man you absolutely would not want to cross, while Gyllenhaal humanises the dogged Loki with his habit of blinking furiously when he gets frustrated.

    No doubt about it, Prisoners will hold you captive as well.



    Romantic Comedy/113 minutes

    Rating: 2/5

    THROW all logic out the window when watching this far-fetched fairy tale of a movie.

    Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi plays travel agent Su Fei, your everyday office exec who is pining for love. In a series of coincidental and contrived events, Su Fei wins a trip to Singapore, where she meets David, a handsome spy played by Taiwan-based American singer-actor Wang Lee Hom.

    Then, the bumbling Su Fei unwittingly gets entangled in David's hunt for a diamond in what becomes a dizzying - and predictable - ride.

    The pair scoot from one location to another, including Beijing and Hong Kong, with nary a whiff of chemistry.

    Still, director Dennie Gordon clearly knows her audience. In one crowd-pleasing scene, the muscular Wang emerges shirtless from the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool - in slow motion.

    Talk about unabashedly pandering to your audience.