Fantasia 2010: The Disappearance of Alice Creed

- Advertisement -


The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Directed by J Blakeson

In the post-Tarantino era, a good crime movie is hard to find. A new generation of filmmakers watched Reservoir Dogs, True Romance and especially Pulp Fiction in awe, while also thinking, “I could do that.” Sadly the great majority of them could not, and the field of “mediocre, snark-filled crime movie” has been a crowded one ever since. Looking to shun the referential, needlessly cluttered approach taken by his contemporaries, writer-director J Blakeson tries on a different approach: no frills. The result, his debut feature The Disappearance of Alice Creed, is far from perfect, but nevertheless provides a utilitarian rush and a welcome back-to-basics aesthetic.

The film begins as strongly as any this year: two men (Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston) meticulously prepare for, and then execute, a carefully orchestrated kidnapping that goes off without a hitch. It’s a wonderfully distressing sequence, one whose mechanical menace informs much of the film. The titular abductee (Gemma Arterton) is spirited away, shaken up, and kept under strict lock and key. Our captors seem to have enacted the perfect crime – unfortunately for them, there’s another 95 whole minutes of movie left to go.

Taking place in only a handful of locations over a relatively short period of time, and featuring only the three aforementioned players, Creed is stripped-down almost to a fault. While the approach is certainly refreshing, the imposed limitations mean that tension must be derived from a fairly narrow set of possibilities – essentially, it’s possible to guess what will go wrong and how. Luckily, the film is so lean and well-engineered that its occasional predictability isn’t very often at issue. It helps that our sympathies are toyed with at every interval.

Instrumental to that last factor are the uniformly strong players. Arterton imbues Alice with just enough brattiness to (slightly) undercut our overwhelming sympathy for her plight, and Compston’s Danny effectively masks his true motives for as long as possible, but, predictably, unstoppable character actor Marsan steals the spotlight as Vic, the elder crook prone both to violent anger and unexpected acts of tenderness. It’s not as spectacular a role as Happy-Go-Lucky‘s paranoiac driving instructor, but it’s certainyl a better showcase for his considerable talents than the bit parts he seems to have been routinely offered since (Sherlock Holmes, Heartless).

Like nearly every crime thriller in recorded history, Creed‘s last act is its weakest, a relatively stale blend of chases, double-crosses, and tidy resolutions – but until that point, it’s an unusually effective showcase of bare-bones storytelling. Here’s hoping Blakeson can perfect his formula next time around.

Simon Howell

10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
The cast of Married...With Children
25 Little-Known Facts about Married…With Children TV Show
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
4 Different Types of Cauliflower (Plus Health Benefits)
12 Different Types of Pecans
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores