Complete A-Z list

Captor, The


Stars: Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong, Bea Santos, Christopher Heyerdahl, Ian Matthews, John Ralston, Mark Rendall, Nonnie Griffin, Linzie Barclay, Thorbjorn Harr

Director: Robert Budreau

'Based on an absurd but true story', this is a fanciful, comedic and somewhat nostalgic account of a failed bank robbery that provided the origins of the phrase Stockholm Syndrome, in which kidnappees begin to identify with their captors.

The film's problem is that it never knows quite how far to go with the comedy vein, and dispatches it entirely in the last reel.

Star Hawke has lots of time for typical Hawkesean angst and agonising as the initially 'yippee-ky-ay' bank robber in 1973 Stockholm who demands a million dollars, a getaway car and the release of his friend Gunnar (an unflatteringly bewigged Strong) from prison.

He achieves the latter, although, unbeknown to him, Gunnar has done a deal with the authorities. Held hostage are two female cashiers (Rapace, Santos) and one other employee.

As time passes and the negotiators, headed by Mattson (Heyerdahl, hitting the right ambivalent tone and almost stealing the film) play for time, Bianca (Rapace) begins to empathise with the tightly-wound Lars (Hawke) and agrees to play dead when 'shot', to underline the fact that he means business.

All this seems to take rather longer to unravel than the actual runtime and it frequently appears that the director himself is playing for time to bump this up to feature length. I did, however, like Noomi's big glasses. Time for a 'spectacular' comeback?

Incidentally, this marks the final screen appearance (as one of the people in the bank) of eccentric Canadian-born cameo performer Griffin, who died on 7 June at 85.

David Quinlan

Canada/Sweden/USA 2018. UK Distributor: Signature. Colour (unspecified).
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 16 Jun 2019