Monday, 23 April 2012

Review: Gone

Rating: 15
Duration: 94 mins

Director Heitor Dhalia follows suit with another unintelligible thriller that believes it's far cleverer than it actually is. Couple a fairly brainless, run-of-the-mill script with the teen appeal of Amanda Seyfried, and you've got the ingredients for a film aimed solely for the teenage demographic.

Jill (Seyfried) becomes paranoid when her sister Molly (Emily Wichersham), goes missing one night, that it's the same abductor who imprisoned her two years ago. She sets out to prove it, but is ignored by the dismissive police leading us to question whether her sanity is all as it seems.

We're presented with a Veronica Mars style detective, hell-bent on snooping around and asking questions, when in reality she'd no doubt be stopped in her tracks with her nosey disposition. What's even more unbelievable is how she manages to evade the authorities so nonchalantly throughout the film: including local detectives and a multiple police car chase.

Because it strives so hard for accessibility over intelligence, it therefore suffers in engaging on a maturer level: we see a slightly demented Seyfried scurry round, chasing clues and following leads as she manages to completely evade the detectives and police force that are after her. It almost feels like it's trying to replicate a Bourne style caper, albeit it an adolescent one.

Clearly aimed towards a younger, perhaps more susceptible viewer; the script unintelligently slots all the pieces of the puzzle together far too neatly: it feels like a mere paint-by-numbers rather than anything possessing any weight or depth to the mystery. In fact, the plot is so thinly laid out and divulged that any associations with the genre are quickly dispelled and replaced by an unengaging, dull and frequently laborious nothingness.

Yes, Amanda, we're just as baffled as you are
Exposition-wise, it is terribly vague in contextualising any of the featured characters: Seyfried's Jill comes across as slightly neurotic and potentially insane, but we're left to ponder over this. Other characters that should bare more significance are painfully underdeveloped to the point where you simply don't care what happens to them either way, as you're given nothing to work with in the first place.

VERDICT: Gone attempts to throw you off, but this join-the-dots thriller exudes zero intensity with its adolescent style. Seyfried does her best with a woefully dull script and silly dialogue, but can't save it from simply becoming another teen orientated, throwaway mess.