Gone (2012)

(On-demand, September 2012) After a number of smaller roles in movies since 2008’s Mamma Mia!, Amanda Seyfried is finally getting to headline a film in Gone: She’s not only the lead protagonist: there’s no one else of comparable stature in the cast and she’s on-screen nearly from beginning to end.  Her role, as a damaged abduction survivor trying to track down her sisters’ kidnapper, is not a bad part for someone trying to build her credentials as a leading actress and Seyfried gives it all she’s got.  Unfortunately, the script isn’t good enough to make the movie better than her performance: In-between the gratuitously misogynistic dialogue, the dropped subplots or the concluding revelation that almost invalidates the plot of the film so far, Gone has basic issues that prevent it from being anything other than a middle-of-the-road, faintly dull suspense film.  Some of the harsher dialogue and investigative set-pieces work in the moment, but they don’t amount to anything worth remembering a few hours after the credits roll.  (It doesn’t help that the conclusion feels anticlimactic.) Portland (Oregon) is nicely featured, but otherwise it’s difficult to find anything distinctive to say about the film.  Gone is merely another title in a long list of undistinguished wintertime thrillers that seemingly only serve to feed the vast maw of Hollywood’s distribution machine.  It’s not awful, but neither is it any good.

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