When I saw ads for Gone, my initial reaction was, "So Amanda Seyfried is the new Ashley Judd?" As this trailer spells out, it sure looks that way:
What the trailer doesn't tell you are the little details which make it a slightly above-average thriller. Seyfried has a history of mental instability and was committed and her history of crying wolf whenever another girl went missing has worn the cops down. The screenplay by Alison Burnett (Untraceable, the new Underworld: Awakenings) is very cagey and takes its time setting up the fact that the missing sister has some issues, too, and made me wonder how they were going to wrap it up; with her being crazy or actually solving the mystery.
Familiar faces like Debra Morgan from Dexter, that creepy kid from American Beauty who put Rachel Nichols in a plunging nightie in P2, the nerdy scientist guy from Avatar, and Eddie from Eddie and the Cruisers show up briefly, but Gone is fundamentally a one-woman show and Seyfried is effective as a haunted, driven, but resourceful young woman. It could've easily been played shrilly or "crazy", but Seyfried does well in a drabbed-down, no glitz role. Other than a totally gratuitous shower scene in which we see her smokin' hawt body silhouetted through the curtain for a moment - not that there's anything wrong with that - it's all acting for her.
Along the way are some serious "just go with it" leaps in logic - I'm talking real "Why would anyone do THAT?"
howlers - which if you think too hard about will derail your enjoyment,
but Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia manages to keep things taut and
not drag it out longer than its 90-minute (minus credits) running time. If you liked Untraceable, then this is about as good. As I left the theater, the girl from the screening team asked me for my thoughts. I told her (and now you)....
Score: 6/10. Rent it.