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With Jim Sabatini

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston, Eddie Marsan

Rated: R violent content, pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 6, 2010 Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Here's an unconventional hostage thriller with cinematic presence even if it might be well-suited to the stage.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed features Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan and is helmed with assured austerity by J. Blakeson.

Two unlike criminal types, Compston's Danny and Marsan's Vic, meticulously fortify a nondescript British flat which serves as a prison. Their devious plan has them snatching the titular young debutante (Arterton), bring her back their where she's unclothed and tied to a bed.

Alice's father gets the ransom demand, but Blakeson's storyline allows for a certain amount of chaos to brew as desperation is a force among many emotions.

It's an interesting three-handler for sure, uncomfortably riveting in many ways, especially how the balance of power changes among Alice, Danny and Vic. Some may feel the focus is more on Danny and Vic than on a pretty young woman tangibly afraid and irate at the same time.

A few discerning filmgoers may anticipate some of the narrative contortions, but the revelations and heated interactions unfold without the coincidence or happenstance one may surmise bearing plenty of tragic gloom.

All of the actors have their moments and then some in what often makes for edgy claustrophobic entertainment. Danny has an unusual secret which Vic doesn't see, as the former is vulnerable with the latter and Alice with her own wily inhibitions.

Compston (The Damned United) is very sympathetic as the very green Danny and Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky) finely shades a truly volatile personality. And, a comely Arterton (rapidly becoming more recognizable from Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia) endows Alice with plenty of truculent aplomb herself. Each has the ability to connect in ways that keep the on-looker off-guard that melds into the strong sense of jeopardy felt throughout.

Confrontations and outbursts propitiously appear in what is pervasive and wisely formed and tightly drawn as indicated in cutaways, glances, or montages (some patterned probably after Guy Ritchie). The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a durable, if unsettling British import which (for some) may not quite equal the sum of its rougher , significant parts with a whiff of self-indulgence often muted by high-caliber sound, editing and lensing.

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