October 21, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’ is a glorified stage play

By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: There is nothing particularly wrong about J Blakeson’s “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” but there is next to nothing interesting or special about it. It’s basically a glorified stage play, a tense crime drama about a kidnap victim and her two captors. Set in a single location and mostly played out in two rooms, the film purports to be a psychological thriller that attempts to subvert the cliches of a standard kidnap-thriller. Yet upon closer examination, the film contains no real surprises and ends up hewing much closer to formula than you might have initially presumed.

A token amount of plot: Alice Creed has been abducted and taken to a loft, where she now lies shackled to a bed with a bag over her head. Her two captors, Vic and Danny, simply want a large ransom from her wealthy father. As the drama plays itself out, Alice does what she can to survive, while unknown connections between kidnapper and victim, as well as kidnapper and kidnapper, rear their ugly heads and threaten to spoil what should have been a simple crime. That’s pretty much it.

After a terrific, and nearly silent, initial fifteen minutes where the crime is planned and then carried out in cold objective detail, the film settles into a boring pattern of watching Vic and Danny argue about the scheme mixed with occasional moments of Alice attempting to talk her way out of her dilemma. As demanded by law, Vic (Eddie Marsen) is the gruff, volatile, and in command, while Danny (Martin Compston) is younger, more emphatic and eager to please his elder kidnapper. And young Alice (Gemma Arterton) is given just enough alleged moxy to occasionally get the better of her abductors, yet she still spends the majority of the film bound and ball-gagged.

While there are a couple genuine twists in the narrative, the film eventually goes down such a predictable road that one not even see the film to correctly guess how it ends. And since there is no real plot progression until the climax, the majority of the running time simply becomes a waiting game to get to the end of this particular caper. Aside from the potential ickiness of the subject matter (some will certainly be turned off by the constant bondage/S&M imagery) and the disconcerting idea of an actress having to spend an entire film stripped naked and objectified in an apparent bid to be taken seriously as a thespian, the fact stands that the film is dreadfully boring for the middle hour and change.

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To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos.

About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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