By Eric D. Snider (reprint from 4/29/10 -- Tribeca Film Festival)
No matter how carefully you plan, no matter how efficiently you work, there's always a chance you'll be thwarted by that most treacherous of villains: your own emotions. That is the lesson of The Disappearance of Alice Creed, and of my experience watching it.
The rational part of me says this movie is ludicrous, pointing out that much of the audience laughed, and I winced, during the parts that were supposed to be tender. But the other part of me enjoyed it, preposterous story line and all. It doesn't matter how implausible -- heck, I'll go with impossible -- certain events are. The whole thing's so straight-faced and tightly edited that you'd have a hard time not getting caught up in it.
The title character, played by Gemma Arterton, has not disappeared at all. Why, she's right in front of us, the whole time! She has been abducted, though, by a pair of meticulous kidnappers. Vic (Eddie Marsan) is a little older than his partner, and clearly more experienced with this sort of thing. Danny (Martin Compston) follows instructions well but has yet to internalize the finer points of abducting girls and extorting ransom money from their rich fathers.