The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)





Martin Compston, Eddie Marsan, Gemma Arterton


Two criminals, Vic (Eddie Marsan) and Danny (Martin Compston), kidnap Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), the daughter of a millionaire. The kidnappers have worked out a meticulous plan: will it work?


Months ago I was asked to review this film, and since it was on TV last night I took the chance right away. The reviews were promising and the film started well, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would have.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a quite entertaining crime flick, with lots of attempts at tension, but exaggerates with plot twists.

The idea to set the film entirely in the places of the kidnapping, the choice of focusing on the psyche of the kidnappers and the kidnapped and putting aside the family and the investigation is excellent. Also, the film manages to avoid to fall into the clich├ęd kidnappings territory: there is no torture; the victim is humiliated though.

What really bothered me were the twists. Usually a plot twist serves as a mean to keep the viewer engaged and interested in what he is seeing. That's what happens in the first part of the film. But in the second part, there are way too many twists, they lose effectiveness, and it looks like the Blakeson didn't know how to fill the time. Also, as the film goes on, the twists are predictable and the level of engagement falls. Not to mention the disappointing ending.

Also there is what I like to call the Clark Kent effect. Everybody knows that Clark Kent takes off his glasses when turning into Superman. And everybody also knows that none of the people he knows does recognize him. The same thing happened here. At some point it transpires that two of the characters knew each other, but how didn't recognize each other from their voices?

Gemma Arterton is more than just a pretty face and she shows it with a great performance. Eddie Marsan is great as always. Martin Compston gets way too much screen time and he is not that good.

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