Thursday, March 1, 2012

GONE – review

WHAT ON EARTH happened to Amanda Seyfried, you may wonder. The Allentown, Pennsylvania native who seemingly became an overnight sensation with 2004 cult hit Mean Girls, only to make a largely forgettable series of films since, some of them truly awful (LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD being the worst).

This stylishly shot, would-be thriller may have grand designs on Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND with its ‘is she or isn’t she crazy storyline. It certainly kicks off an extremely busy year for the 26-year-old (not bad, given her sub-par output of late).

Here, she is Jill: a waitress who claims to have been kidnapped a year earlier, and thrown down a deep dark hole. Having escaped, her would-be killer reappears, she tells police, and grabs her sister (Emily Wickersham) when he can’t find her. Police shake their heads, believing her to be barking mad. Jill opts to become detective herself.

There’s little to recommend this B-grade, formulaic affair. The plot is tosh (several characters, including a lone lieutenant who does believe her tale, vanish for no apparent reason), the dialogue hackneyed at best (UNDERWORLD 4 scribe Allison Burnett, take a bow), and the idea that a waitress can also confidently handle guns, cars and martial arts in equal measure is stretching things just a tad too far.

Seyfried does have some potentially interesting films due out in the coming year (LES MISERABLES and LOVELACE, among them). One can only hope this is a(nother) misfire, rather than a sign of what’s to come. She’s soldiered on with lesser films, of course. Gone, she will most definitely be not.

Critical Rating: 1/5.

GONE is now showing in cinemas.


First published in The National.

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