Gone

14 Mar

Title: Gone
Year: 2012
Director: Heitor Dhalia
Writer: Allison Burnett
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley, Daniel Sunjata, Sebastian Stan, Katherine Moennig
MPAA Rating: PG-13, violence and terror, some sexual material, brief language and drug references
Runtime: 94 min
IMDb Rating: 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Metacritic: 36

It’s not as though I went into Gone with expectations of any kind; the film had received pretty much no marketing push at all, which in turn has resulted in a measly box office take of less than $10 million (on a $22 million budget), and the film wasn’t even screened for critics (and the reviews that eventually came in were pretty crappy). But still, I won’t lie, a part of me wanted Gone to be a decent flick, at least a guilty pleasure kind of thing, because I like Amanda Seyfriend and I thought the idea of her carrying a thriller was interesting. Alas, it just wasn’t to be; it’s just a horribly conventional and terribly dull thriller with a script that really hurts it every step it takes, providing not a single genuine scare or moment of suspense.

It’s sad because I really do think Ms. Seyfried can do pretty great things. After breaking out big in 2008 thanks to Mamma Mia! she’s yet to fully realize her potential, I loved her in Chloe and I thought In Time was actually a pretty good film (I gave both those films a B+) but she just hasn’t been wow yet, nor has she been in a wow film, and I’m eagerly waiting for that to happen; hopefully her starring turn in the Linda Lovelace biopic will be good, or, more likely, she’ll put on a great supporting performance when she goes back to singing for the adaptation of Les Misérables Tom Hooper is directing.

But while we can look forward to the future and speculate about Ms. Seyfried doing some great stuff, the fact of the matter is that for now all we have is the present, and that means she’s in theaters right now playing Jill Parish, the waitress who local police think cried wolf after she went to them with claims of having just escaped a crazy kidnapper. A year after that, with Jill enjoying a cocktail of anxiety pills or two, she comes home from a night only to discover that her sister is – you guessed it – gone. So naturally Jill is sure that it’s the same guy that went after her a year earlier, and naturally she’ll have to deal with this all by her lonesome, trying to find the kidnapper and save her sister.

The film is just so not worth your time, though. This is a premise that’s the sort of stuff we’ve seen done way too many times before and in far better ways, so this one’s not really a thriller because every single thrill in it you’ll be able to see coming from miles away, and even when they arrive they won’t have any kind of awesome effect for you to hold on to. Not to mention that the film spends so much time just delivering these red herrings time and time again that, even ignoring the fact that they don’t really work, it’ll get to the point in which you just won’t care about whether some actually is or isn’t in danger.

Not to mention that more than once the movie kind of succeeds in making you think that maybe Jill is indeed a bit off about where she thinks her sister is, and the simpler, less dangerous explanations posed by others sound more than likely. But still, Amanda Seyfried is a pretty girl, you’ll follow her around and see where she gets at, even though her DIY detective work is just pretty lame most of the times, and the first person she asks for a piece of information usually is able to provide exactly what she needs. Obviously by the time the film is done you’ll know that Jill wasn’t delusional and the the killer was very much real, but the climax is just so lame, and considering we spend over an hour tracking down this killer guy, we never get to learn anything about him, and it sucks.

Ms. Seyfried is okay as Jill, it’s not as though she had the material to be anything close to good, but even if she seems to be game for everything she can’t really sustain the weight of the film all by herself because we’re not buying into Jill as a character and mostly because we’re just not buying into whatever thrills or scares Gone is attempting to so desperately pull out of its hat. My advice is to skip this film entirely; I thought it was a pretty horrible movie, with one too many red herrings that never amounted to anything at all and were all lost or ignored by the time the third act arrived and the film was just busy trying to get to its conclusion that isn’t all great at all.

It sucks because I really do still believe Amanda Seyfried is a gifted actress, I watched every episode of Big Love and she was one of the best things about that whole series because her performance had a sincerity to it that I really appreciated, and that’s translated to every other performance she’s given since even when the films suck. Much like she did in last year’s terrible Red Riding Hood (which I gave a C- to), she’s yet again chosen a film to carry herself where there’s not much to carry in the first place. The script is just so messy, from the tangle of the red herrings to the clichés to the fact that it’s a thriller with absolutely no thrills. One of the years worst films, and while I wasn’t expecting that much more from it, I really want to be able to expect more from Ms. Seyfried.

Grade: D+

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