Film Review: Gone

Spring is a fairly grim season for Hollywood. Apart from the occasional big budget blockbuster, spring is generally used as a dumping ground for the films Hollywood doesn’t have any faith in. Gone is certainly one of those films.

Gone was released in America last year, where it received very little press coverage. You would have had to try very hard to find any TV spots or trailers. It’s a similar story here in the UK, where Gone has a very limited release – showing in cinemas from Friday 20 April.

Amanda Seyfried plays Jill, a young woman who survived a kidnapping ordeal just over a year previous. After her experience she starts attending self-defence classes. Then one night she returns home, and finds her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) has disappeared. Jill assumes that her sister has fallen victim to her own attacker, and goes to the police to file a missing person’s report. The police however dismiss Jill, believing her to be insane. This leaves Jill with no choice but to pick up a gun and go and search for Molly herself.

The main problem with Gone is that everyone involved seems to have given up on it from the get go. Amanda Seyfried is miscast once again as the self defence expert taking the law into her own hands, but she makes very little attempt to make her character believable. The plot moves along exactly the way you would expect it to, but just when things start to get interesting, we are left with a dead end. Either they were incapable of finding any originality, or they just couldn’t be bothered.

Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia soldiers on throughout this, not really demanding much from his cast. The few actions sequences we have are rather on the dull side too. However the shots of the more run down areas of Portland do have a certain brutal beauty about them, something that would have been far better exploring than the rather mundane plot. Allison Burnett’s script lacks any notable scenes, and most of the dialogue is rather flat and unemotional.

There is an underlining realism however, that does give Gone a slight edge. No attempt is made to make the kidnapper at the centre of the story some domineering or frightening character. He’s just a man at the end of it all, creating and edgy and realistic atmosphere. But the dire script, the dull set pieces, and the painfully formulaic plot means this one will be forgotten in a hurry.

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About Eric Wood

Eric Wood is 21 years old, from Bury in Greater Manchester, and a graduate of Salford University where he studied Journalism and English Literature. His first novel comes out later in the year, and he begins work directing his first feature length movie in the summer. Eric absolutely adores all forms of writing and loves movies so he’s the ideal film critic. His greatest inspiration for many years has been Michael Crichton, as Crichton has written novels, non-fiction, screenplays, and directed movies. Eric would love to be able to achieve all of those things in my lifetime.
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