Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Going, Going...

Rated: PG-13 Drug references, brief language, some sexual material, and violence and terror.
Release Date: February 24, 2012
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins

Director:  Heitor Dhalia
Writers: Allison Burnett
Cast:  Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan, Wes Bentley

SYNOPSIS:  When her sister suddenly disappears, Jill believes that the same man who abducted her and she escaped from has returned to finish the job. When the local police think that Jill is delusional, she takes matters into her own hands.

REVIEW: Adrift director Heitor Dhalia takes a stab at the suspense game with a script from Underworld: Awakening and Untraceable screenwriter Allison Burnett. Recently working with a team of fellow writers. Burnett goes out on his own with this dramatic thriller.
In Portland, Oregon, young Jill (Amanda Seyfried, In Time) goes about her seemingly normal life with her midnight shift work as a waitress, living with her sister, classes in self-defense, and gridded searches on forest hikes. When her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham, I Am Number Four) disappears on the eve of a big exam, Jill is convinced that she has been abducted. Having escaped from a pit in the forest when abducted by a serial killer two years ago, Jill believes that Molly has been taken by the same man. Going to the police, Jill outlines to Detective Powers (Daniel Sunjata, One for the Money) what she knows and what she believes. From other detectives like Erica Lonsdale (Katherine Moennig, The Lincoln Lawyer) to Lt. Ray Bozeman (Michael Pare, The Lincoln Lawyer), no one takes Jill seriously enough to start scouring the city for her sister. Only newly returned detective Peter Hood (Wes Bentley, Jonah Hex) shows any belief that Jill may be right. Jill goes on a mission to find her sister, gun in her handbag, checking all leads in spite of the idle police department. Every step puts her closer to finding her sister and the serial killer who has haunted her for two years.

Allison Burnett's script and Heitor Dhalia's direction bring to the screen a modern-day noir-styled thriller. Seyfried's Jill is the tortured young woman searching for answers. The film is filled with characters that all could very well be the killer that Jill has been looking for. Is it the diner patron regular who is suddenly moving away because he 'doesn't like the woman in Portland'? Or is it Molly's boyfriend Billy (Sebastian Stan, Captain America: The First Avenger) who doesn't seem worried enough? Or is it the new cop Hood who seems too interested in Jill's case? The script tosses out classic red herrings seemingly by the dozens, trying to keep the audience guessing and in suspense. Most end up being obvious and more of a distraction than useful. Dhalia shoots many of the cast of characters with sharp camera angles and intense shadows to up-play just how sinister everyone in Portland seems to be.

With so many characters onscreen like co-worker Sharon (Jennifer Carpenter, Quarantine), the twitchy boyfriend of Molly's, and a bunch of cops that quickly dismiss Jill's claims for her missing sister because no real proof was discovered during her own abduction, the story flounders with the crowded cast excess with not much to do other than provide distraction for the plot - like a shiny quarter or a length of dangling yarn.

Though stuck in a story that should have by-passed the silver screen, Amanda Seyfried has enough talent and screen presence to carry Gone as far as she could. With wide-eyed terror and grim determination, Seyfried's Jill kept me interested throughout. It was only when Jill dialogues with the other characters that the story grinds down considerably. When Seyfried is on the hunt for her sister and the serial killer is when the pace and suspense keep to a fine clip.

Gone is an adequate suspenseful thriller, centering around a young, tortured, haunted girl who seeks vengeance against a serial killer, both for the abduction of her sister Molly and her own kidnapping that would have resulted in her own murder if she had not had the chance at escape. It is too bad that the attempt at misdirection with a motley cast of characters does nothing to enhance the story. Buy a ticket for this film if you must, but do so soon because its run in the theater will soon be gone.

WORTH: Rental

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