Hannibal Lector on Ice
A film based on a true story (Gives you extra chills if you keep this in mind) with the cooperation of a number of famous names as cast.
Nicolas Cage as the dutiful State Trooper Jack Halcombe (a fictional character based on detective Glenn Flothe in reality), who's been assigned his last mission before he retires. Yet another detective who gets his last "case" and in no time realizes that this is going to be a hard nut to crack. Same as Robert Duvall in "Falling Down" or Morgan Freeman in "Se7en ". Cage guarantees always the same way of lethargic acting. Whether he is an alcoholic in "Leaving Las Vegas" or a chemical weapons specialist in "The Rock", his acting routine is basically the same. Personally I think he deviates in this routine in "Matchstick Men" in which he performs in an excellent way. Recently he played in lesser films like "Stolen" and "Ghost Rider". But he always gets from me the benefit of the doubt .
Cusack fits perfectly in here. He's also someone who always plays his roles in the same manner. A non-emotional face in both "2012" and in "The Raven." To be honest he didn't really evolve much since he played in the trashy teen-movie "Serendipity". The two main characters already met before in the movie "Con Air". I really need to have a look at that one somewhere in the future. The advantage Cusack has in this movie is that that non-emotional attitude suits perfectly with the person Robert Hansen, a crazy psychotic stuttering serial killer from Alaska.
For me Vanessa Hudgens was the big surprise in this film. Given that the majority of films in which she appeared include the terms "teen" and "high school", she plays nevertheless in a convincing way a tormented prostitute, who experienced a youth full of abuse and then ended up in the raunchy world of prostitution full of violence, sex and domination. She can escape out of the hands of Hansen after being tortured, raped and humiliated. That's also the start of the movie.
Due to the fact that it's based on a true story, there is little room for self-interpretation and the freedom to differ. Although I think the part where Hansen hires a guy to eliminate Cindy and this attempt almost is a success but Cindy can get away assisted by her former pimp (I think) played by 50Cent (with a wig that will scare the living shit out of you but with a perfectly palatable rendition) and saved at the last moment by the State Troopers, feels like an adaption to raise the tension a bit. Also the nail-biting house search is a romanticized version compared to what really happened as you can read on Wikipedia.
Eventually it's a movie from which the audience expects more than enumerating historical facts. Ultimately, the film gives a good portrait of Hansen, the doggedness of Jack Halcombe to stop the killings and Cindy as a near-victim who tries to survive in the inhuman, harsh world of prostitution and also tries to stay out of the hands of Hansen. The images of Alaska with its vast, icy and godforsaken plains (a perfect place for disposing human remains), together with the credits at the end as a tribute to all the victims and the realization that a person is really capable to commit such horrible facts , left me with an oppressive and uncomfortable feeling.
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