The Prisoner (2009)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Critic Reviews for The Prisoner
The opening episode and the closing episode were decent, but everything in between seems to be just fluff to add confusion to the audience via the characters themselves.
Not even the combined forces of Jesus and Gandalf can save this from being anything more than just a passable time killer.
Audience Reviews for The Prisoner
Everyone is numbered in this for-AMC production, but it's most important number is zero. Which is exactly the amount of entertainment value the viewer collects.
Only the bare-bones structure of the 1967 original is present here. Acting? Topping Patrick McGoohan's 1967 breath-taking delivery would be nothing short of a miracle, so perhaps that's why Caviezel didn't even try - and instead down-shifted to paycheck-speed.
Also unlike the original, there's no real intellectually-puzzling suspense written into the script whatsoever. In the original, everyone's trying to covertly outsmart each other - and takes the viewer along for the puzzling ride. Here, someone confides in Caviezel and fifty minutes later she dies in an explosion. Ho-hum. The final fate of Village traitors is far more thought-provoking within McGoohan's scriptwork.
Set pieces here are barren and scrimpy; 1967's location shoot at Portmeirion is nothing less than visually fascinating.
Why AMC management even TRIED to rehash the superlative and unique 1967 classic is anyone's guess. AMC humongously-promoted the premier, but a snoozer is a snoozer.
The best thing about this production is that it will attract a new generation to the outstanding 1967 original work - work that they probably didn't even know existed.
This boat anchor will hit store shelves at warp-speed. When it does, pass it by.
RECOMMENDATION: After a mere YouTubeing of the original's 2-minute opening credits montage, you'll be fully drawn under the spell of the 1967 original. Then queue up a few of the original 17 episodes instead.
This television miniseries was absolutely incredible. Look at the talent! With James Caviezel and Ian McKellen, how could you go wrong?
The surrealism of "The Prisoner" marries together well with the heightened suspense throughout the entire series. Everything is ambiguous as to what is going on and why things are happening. At the center of the series is the conflict between Caviezel and McKellen, the two powerhouses diametrically opposed to one another, as Caviezel searches for truth while McKellen manipulates, trying to always maintain a dictator-like absolute control.
I must say I was extremely disappointed with the end, though. I wanted to see Caviezel escape or realize the truth or at least win. Bit of a downer ending, but definitely leaves you wondering at the end with more questions than answers which are up to you to interpret.
Great thrill ride!
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