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The Captor 2018 ****

Of course, it’s famously one of the few things that Die Hard gets wrong; a reference to Helsinki Syndrome, whereas the correct term is Stockholm Syndrome. The terms comes from behaviour observed during a bank robbery in Stockholm circa 1973, where captors and hostages formed an unexpected bond; writer and director Robert Budreau’s thriller explores the moment and comes up with some entertaining results. Complete with shades, a cowboy hat, a leather jacket and lots of attitude, Ethan Hawke plays Kaj Hansson, who unassumingly takes a cab to a bank and pulls out a gun; he demands for his mentor Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) to be delivered or hostages will die. The authorities comply, but Kaj strikes up a positive relationship with teller Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace), and while the cops try to burrow their way in to end the siege, the hostages and captors retreat to the bank’s vault. Also knows as Stockholm, The Captor is a tight and atmospheric film that perhaps doesn’t have the wild energy of Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, but makes up for it with three big star performances and some authentic-looking location work. There’s also a welcome unfamiliarity in that the outcome of the heist isn’t particularly well known, and so there’s a bit of room for improvisation. The Captor is a likeably proposition for genre fans, a tense and humorous drama drawn from the headlines with enough wit and panache to keep the action compelling.

Out Aug 12th On DVD in the UK, link 1 for the DVD and Blu-Ray disc and link 2 for streaming as of now…

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