February is generally known as the month where the less-than-good movies are unceremoniously dumped. The thriller Gone, is just one in a long line of movies that will either be forgotten by summer or end up on numerous “Worst of” the year lists. I didn’t find the movie to be the worst thing I’ve seen, so far, it’s just a film that tries to take a 180 before say “Nah” and becoming the predictable, uninspired film it set out to be. If not for star Amanda Seyfried, who only plays one mode, the film would be direct-to-DVD.
When Jill’s (Seyfried) sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) disappears one evening, Jill is convinced her sister has been taken by a man who once kidnapped her. Unfortunately, the cops don’t believe there was any evidence Jill was abducted and thus, don’t take her missing sister story seriously. Knowing the killer will murder Molly within 48 hours, Jill goes on a chase to find her sister, and her abductor.
There have been several films that fall into this “interesting gimmick” genre where there’s a great tagline associated with it and the movie falls flat. A prime example was the 2007 film The Invisible that boasted a tagline of “How do you solve a murder when the victim is you?” Here, the tagline seems to be “How do you find a kidnapper when he’s taken you before” or something similar. The problem is beyond those gimmicky phrases there’s nothing holding this movie together. The film is 94 minutes and you learn absolutely nothing about Jill or her sister aside from “she was kidnapped” and that line applies to both girls! Sure there’s a literal throwaway line about Molly being a drunk but it’s said with such nonchalance that it’s like saying “I’m a drunk. You want to go to the mall?” The cops don’t believe Jill’s sister has been taken, yet they don’t do ANYTHING to find Molly including performing an investigation or even putting up a poster! They use the outdated, “Wait 48 hours” approach that anyone who watches CNN knows cops don’t do anymore. The film tries around the halfway mark to add in a “Maybe Jill’s crazy” story that I thought might save this film, because it was the obvious plot twist, but apparently they figured doing the most bland thing ever to end the movie seemed like a better twist leaving the audience with the worst lead-up, and a character you end up thinking is crazy anyway!
The acting is on par with a FOX series, a direct-to-DVD film, or a Lifetime movie (sometimes it’s all three). Seyfried doesn’t do anything aside from being in hysterics for 95 minutes. Sure she tries to be Nancy Drew for a bit, and becomes the best liar in the world, yet I never felt she truly cared about finding her sister, merely proving the cops wrong which is a bad motivating force for your lead. I probably felt this since there’s like one scene between the sisters but it leads to a lifeless actress trying to solve a mystery. Other actors including Sebastian Stan, Wes Bentley, and Daniel Sunjata just run the gamut of concern, lechery, and incompetence.
I think the biggest problem overall is the “I told [insert name here] ahead of time” disease you see in a lot of movies lately. Gone has several moments where a character reveals they told someone something important ahead of our star making it seem like everyone is really just trying to pull one over on our heroine. A cop even reveals he told Molly to move in with Jill…why if you didn’t believe her? What kind of cop gives moving advice to a victim’s sister…what cop even has the victim’s sister’s contact information!? Oh, this movie just has so many holes, and that doesn’t include the mystery hole that Jill was supposedly in. Don’t see this movie unless you have alcohol or a few friends and an empty theater to make fun of it.