Apr 25 2012 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge
GONE is a thriller starring Amanda Seyfried as Jill, a girl trying to solve her sister Molly’s (Emily Wickersham) disappearance.
Jill is convinced the serial killer that kidnapped her two years earlier has returned to take Molly but the police have their doubts about her story and quickly begin to question Jill’s sanity.
Gone arrives on the back of some pretty savage Stateside reviews and it’s not hard to see why; the film is criminally dumb and dull, dull, dull.
It’s like a bad crime novel or by-the-numbers episode of Prime Suspect or Veronica Mars (yes, that bad).
Brazilian Heitor Dhalia directs from a story by Allison Burnett.
Burnett also penned 2008’s lame Saw-lite serial killer thriller Untraceable so I think it’s time she left the genre alone.
Dhalia starts with a boring 15 minute opening that sees Jill walking in the woods, driving and serving food and his film rarely gets the brain working or the pulse quickening.
He also fails to makes the most of his cast.
Seyfried is normally a likeable, reliable presence but she’s a mess here.
She doesn’t suit a straight, serious role and her first scene at the police station is a particular acting embarrassment.
To be fair, she isn’t helped by the material. Jill is improbably brainless; she drives in the wrong lane, ditches her medication, tells increasingly ridiculous lies to various people and ‘hires’ one of the most conspicuous cars ever to flee the police.
Despite her stupidity, Jill manages to outwit/outrun the cops at every turn.
That’s despite four (yes, four) detectives being put on her case.
This is probably Dhalia and Burnett attempting to fill the film with more suspects but Katherine Moennig (Erica) looks bored senseless (and like she’s been dragged through a hedge) and the attempts to make Wes Bentley’s Peter a sinister presence are laughable.
Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter (Sharon) is completely wasted and Wickersham has about 10 minutes of screen time.
The intrigue of whether Jill is mad or onto something isn’t really explored and you reach the point when you don’t really care any more, you just want to skip to the end.
Cliches are rife too. Nosy/grumpy neighbour? Check. The old cat jump scare? Check. Final showdown in darkened woods with no cops around for miles? Check.
The climax is bizarrely drawn-out (a looooong phone call) and lame.
It really is one of those “is that it?” endings and a real disappointment.
If ever a film needed an electrifying conclusion to make up for what’s gone on before it’s this one.
Gone is the worst movie I’ve seen in a while. The best compliment I can give it is that I’ve seen worse.
Poor direction and writing, a miscast lead, underused actors, and cops that would flunk out in the Police Academy films make this a piece of work you wish would disappear faster than Taylor Lautner’s shirt in a Twilight movie.
Rating – 3 out of 10.