When I found out that lead actress Gemma Arterton, who plays Alice Creed in this thriller, was also in "Prince Of Persia", "Quantum Of Solace", and "Clash Of The Titans" I nearly didn't watch it. Damn, that's a tough track record. Luckily, "The Disappearance Of Alice Creed" is stunningly built on basics with the subtlety of a great drama and the tension of a great thriller. Not to mention, Arterton puts all those previous (and post) roles to shame.
Two men, Vic (Marsan) and Danny (Compston) have a very well thought through plan. It's simple. Kidnap the daughter Alice (Arterton) of a millionaire and ask for 2 million pounds for her back. Their devotion seems unshakable and their planning impeccable. But not is all what it seems. Soon the threads in the plan begin to unravel. The threads between these two ex-cons unravel. A picture perfect plan has gone quickly down the drain.
The simplicity of this film is the foundation for which to build some serious execution. 3 actors. About 5 locations (not counting the initial 'set up' as our two men meticulously purchase the items for this event). Limited dialogue. This film truly takes a basic script and flourishes it with fantastic visual flair, tension that can be broken with the sound of a person blinking, and some seriously stunning performances. It's fascinating to see a modern thriller that doesn't place the focus on the build for the twists and just makes the film feel like its playing out naturally.
This is perhaps "Alice Creed"'s greatest asset. The natural feeling of the film. Its completely believable in all of its plot shifts and twists (some of which are a complete shock) and the subtlety of its character builds and execution make it feel like we are truly watching everything happen in true time. How it makes you truly blur your own lines for 'wrong/right'. How it works on your nerves as things start to unravel. Who to even root for. It's all built so evenly, the film simply sucks one in and never lets go until the final moments.
J Blakeson just might be the new Guy Ritchie. His style is slick and visually arresting. Combing that with an amazing score, great design, and a trio of actors that inhabit the moment it makes "Alice Creed" one of the best thrillers in the modern age. It's simplicity allows this film to just go and for some films like this, it was the best thing possible. Sorry, "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", but eat your heart out. "Creed" just might have beaten you out.
Written By Matt Reifschneider