By: Garrett Collins
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley, Joel David Moore, and Michael Pare
Amanda Seyfried first came to my attention in 2010’s Dear John (I know she was in other things like Jennifer’s Body before that movie but this was when I first noticed her) and, while the movie was almost unwatchable, I remember thinking that she would make a pretty good protagonist in a film. She has a sweet innocence about her, and of course, her eyes just captivate you every time you see them. However, I knew 3 minutes into Gone that this was not the project for her. In fact, no one involved comes out looking good by the time this bomb of a film ends. A movie that aims to thrill, yet by the time it was over, accomplished the feat of making me glance at my watch no less than four times in a little under 95 minutes. And, I am sure I am not alone.
Seyfried stars as Jill, a woman who is living with the fact that the guy whose abduction she escaped is still out there. In the time since her escape, she has visions and flashbacks of what she went through, and goes to the police every time she hears something as small as the snapping of a tree branch thinking he’s back. The police, convinced Jill is crazy, send her to the psych ward. A little after she gets out and her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) moves in with her, Molly disappears from the house. Jill, convinced her abductor has come back, once again goes to the cops. And, once they prove to be of no help, decides to take matters into her own hands. Ms. Seyfried, Charles Bronson you are not. The director of this film, Heitor Dahlia, shows no result of the promise that his film Adrift from 2009 had shown him to have. He seems to think that filtering the screen blue during flashbacks and pointing at people Jill should be weary of by having them chew their gum slow and loud is the way to induce the type of nail-biting a good thriller should accomplish. Not to mention the teen version of Silence of the Lambs’ way of a killer holding its victims in a pit behind their house is tired. Much like the rest of the film.
Every single person in this film not named Seyfried is mailing it in to collect a check. Especially Sunjata, who seems to have just found a gig to take up some time before his part in this summer’s Dark Knight Rises was being filmed. However, for someone who loves to say that he doesn’t like to work too much because he is very selective, Bentley, once again, 6 years after he did the same exact thing in 2007’s Ghost Rider, sleepwalks through his part as Detective Hood. Seriously folks. This part consists of nothing but him sitting in on meetings and talking on the phone to Seyfried’s character of Jill. Phone conversations that are meant to be captivating but only resulted in me once again hitting the snooze button. And Moore’s (Shark Night) part is so brief and underwritten that I couldn’t get a full grasp on what he was all about. Of the whole supporting cast around Seyfried, I would have liked to of seen his role expanded most.
To call this movie a thriller is an insult to the genre. With its terrible point and shoot direction, and dumb as can be ending, there is absolutely nothing to recommend about this film. Seeing Seyfried escape capture by using tactics like taking the bus and talking to some teen girls about Justin Bieber, all the while wearing a hooded sweatshirt made me roll my eyes so much they could have been mistaken for roll on applicators. About the only good decision made was to have it take place in Portland, as the rain on the windows and streets really added to any hint of tension that was to be had in this movie. Too bad a thunderstorm couldn’t wash this script away before it started filming. I really hope the four films she has on the horizon prove Seyfried can not only act, but choose her scripts wisely as well.
1 out of 5