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Gone
UKScreen Rating:

Gone – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Jill (Amanda Seyfried) is a bright girl, reduced to working the night shift in a local café by a traumatic event, two years ago, in which she was kidnapped and held captive in a hole in the woods.
She managed to escape and her attacker was never caught. Ever since, she’s spent all her spare time searching the woods for the hole, in the hope that she might find clues to his whereabouts.
The police aren’t interested in helping – they’re not entirely convinced that she was ever really kidnapped.
Meanwhile, Jill’s sister Molly (Emily Wishersham) has recently moved in with her, to help her feel safe – and to keep an eye on her.
One day, Jill gets home from work and there’s no sign of Molly. Her automatic assumption is that the same guy came back to kidnap her again, but got Molly instead.
When she reports Molly missing, the police suspect an overactive imagination and just assume she’s run off with her boyfriend or is busy revising for her exams.
But Jill refuses to give up on her sister. She’s convinced that the clock is ticking and if she doesn’t find Molly in time, the guy who kidnapped her will do to Molly what he failed to do to her.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This is very much the standard “lone protagonist against the world” kind of film, but while this works when the lone protagonist is Bruce Willis’s off-duty cop in Die Hard or Tom Cruise’s murder preventer in Minority Report, Mamma Mia’s Amanda Seyfried as a gun-toting, paranoid waitress who takes it upon herself to lure a brutal kidnapper into the open with the cops trying to stop her rather than help her is less convincing.
The plot is formulaic and contrived, but more crucially dull, pedestrian and linear – first this happens, which leads to that, and then something else – she comes up against this red herring or that – people look like they might try to help her, but they either have an agenda or let her down.
In a film starring mostly unknowns – or at best little knowns – if a familiar name or face pops up, you’d expect him (Wes Bentley) to have a significant role. Is he going to turn out to be the bad guy? Is he going to be the one cop who helps our heroine achieve her goal? I don’t want to spoil anything, but while the plot indeed entertains the prospect that he could be either at the start, it fails to make use of him.
As the film builds towards the inevitable denouement, there’s so much that doesn’t work – it’s almost insulting that we’re asked to take this seriously.
If you make the effort to get down to the cinema to see this movie, you’ll probably wish you hadn’t – erm – gone.

Opens nationwide 20 April 2012

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