VANESSA HUDGENS SHINES AT THE FROZEN GROUND LONDON PREMIERE!

Vanessa Hudgens is a high-schooler no more! The 24 year-old is all grown up and showed it at The Frozen Ground premiere at London’s Vue West End in Leicester Square. There were va-va voom curls reminiscent of an old – Hollywood era, paired with a plunging bejeweled nude jumpsuit by British designer Jenny Packham. Hudgens was joined by the film’s star Nicholas Cage who attended with his wife.

A BEJEWELED DREAM: VANESSA HUDGENS

THE FROZEN GROUND REVIEW (by TIM ROBEY/ TELEGRAPH.CO.UK)

David Fincher’s epic of loose ends, Zodiac (2007), might be the exception that proves the rule, but serial killer procedurals tend to gain nothing in intensity or moral sobriety simply by being “based on real events”. For proof, you only need turn to The Frozen Ground. Might we call this dubious entertainment? Hardly: it’s not even entertaining.

Adapting the notorious case of a prolific sexual predator in Alaska called Robert Hansen (played by John Cusack), the movie recounts the state’s faltering efforts to bring him to justice, which it structures so confusingly and badly it occasionally feels
as though the Keystone Kops are running amok inside the lurid crime-thriller universe of James (Kiss the Girls) Patterson.

It starts with a small-time prostitute, Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens) narrowly escaping Hansen’s clutches. Though she’s meant to have become the clinching witness against him, the bulk of the film is spent with the authorities ignoring and discrediting her story with no other leads to go on — a situation which, though presumably faithful to the facts, is fist-gnawingly frustrating in terms of dramatic development.

THE FROZEN GROUND

Only Nicolas Cage, as a dogged State Trooper called Jack Halcombe, successfully connects the dots and tries to bring Cindy into the investigation, also offering her his spare room while she recovers from the ordeal.

Fans of Cage and Cusack, previously paired as unlikely allies in Con Air (1997), may be looking forward to a bit of deranged actorly combat once Hansen is cornered in the interrogation room, but it’s here that this hopeless flick comes up especially short. Cage is on his dourest sorrows-of-the-world autopilot, and Cusack, who seems to have less and less to offer us at all these days, serves up a listless banality-of-evil cipher instead of a character. Beyond them, debut director Scott Walker is guilty of giving Radha Mitchell the most thankless role of her career as Cage’s vaguely disgruntled wife, while rendering Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson even more than usually ridiculous by wigging him up, as Cindy’s pimp, perhaps in homage to the shoulder-length hair of mid-1990s Angela Bassett.

One person alone survives unscathed, and that’s Hudgens, transparently but boldly gunning for serious actor kudos with the sort of endangered hooker role handed to Jane Fonda on a plate in Klute. You won’t walk away from this film predicting an Oscar, exactly, but she’s tough and committed in ways that often come to the rescue. Her solid contribution makes it all the more scandalous that
Walker’s camera insists on prowling around strip-bars when it’s not even meant to be adopting Hansen’s point of view, as if the great advantage of choosing misogynistic murder as your subject was its opportunity for a few topless peep-shows along the way.

HIGH-SCHOOLER NO MORE: VANESSA HUDGENS

LEADING CAST: NICHOLAS CAGE AND VANESSA HUDGENS

VANESSA HUDGENS WITH GAME OF THRONES ACTRESS NATHALIE EMMANUEL

NICHOLAS CAGE ATTENDED WITH HIS WIFE


VANESSA HUDGENS RED CARPET INTERVIEW

 

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