Paramount Home Media has added director Jerry Jameson’s film adaptation of the Ashley Smith’s first-person novel, “Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero” — which was mercifully shortened for the screen to just Captive — to its Jan. 5 DVD release calendar.
The ARR works out to 109 days and box office receipts for the film’s limited theatrical run amount to $2.6 million.
Based on actual events that took place in Atlanta, Georgia on March 11 and 12, 2005, meth-addict Ashley Smith was taken hostage by Brian Nichols, an inmate on the run, who had murdered four people earlier in the day. That screams “MOW” — you know the type that pop up on “certain channels” and seem to last for five hours with commercial breaks every six and half minutes. UGH, that’s painful!
Instead, Captive is a well-paced, faith-based thriller that is more or less an accurate re-telling of the events that unfolded between 2:00 AM and 9:00 AM on the morning of March 12, 2005.
Nichols (played by David Oyelowo) snaps, beats a guard, takes her gun, murders the judge, the court reporter and a deputy and then escapes. Later he kills an ICE agent. All true. We know from the get-go that Nichols is violent and capable of murder.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Smith (Kate Mara), a young widow, a mother and a meth-addict … she has come into possession of a copy of Rick Warren's “The Purpose Driven Life” (the actual arrival of that book in her life in the movie is different than what really happened, but that’s called “dramatic license” … and that’s OK). That book will become very important for this loser on a downward spiral.
At two in the morning, death awaits, the desperate Nichols grabs her, takes her into her apartment, ties her up and then what transpires over the next seven hours changes her life — and perhaps his — forever.
At some point during the evening she shares her drug stash with Nichols, declines to join him … later she will read him passages from the book. At nine in the morning he will let her go. Simple enough, but what transpires during those seven tense-filled hours changed Smith … the arrival of Nichols proved to be nothing short of an “angel of redemption.”
Bonus features include a pair of featurettes — “Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive” and “Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.