‘Gone’ finds Amanda Seyfried searching for a movie to star in

Hollywood Soapbox logoGone, starring Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter and Wes Bentley, plays like a rough draft of Liam Neeson’s Taken. In fact, a lot of movies nowadays feel like that influential thriller from 2008. The formulaic film is a paint-by-numbers drama: Someone goes missing, and the best means of the heroine to find the kidnapped victim is to pull up her bootstraps and do it according to her own rules.

Seyfried, an up-and-coming actress who has been up and coming for far too long, plays Jill, a young woman suffering from paranoia who continues to emotionally cope with her own abduction from a few years ago. Adding to this character’s misery, Jill’s sister goes missing, and she is convinced the perpetrator is the same person who abducted her and got away with the crime. She knows there’s a pattern to his madness, and even though the police won’t believe her pleas, she’s committed to finding her sister and maybe some closure for her own wounds.

Running little more than 90 minutes, Gone is never able to gather enough momentum or depth to make this story worth watching. Everything feels lifeless and dull; there’s no urgency or energy to the proceedings. Seyfried is a quality actress, but her lines of dialogue fit too nicely into the overall formula of the narrative. There’s never one surprise or sense of character development. Everything and everyone continues along a static route, and this makes watching Gone a trying experience.

The supporting work from Carpenter, Bentley and Daniel Sunjata is not terribly helpful. Carpenter’s character, in particular, is given little screen time, and her entire presence in the movie feels awkwardly out of place. Sunjata, a good actor on the Broadway stage, offers a forgettable performance in a typical role.

Director Heitor Dhalia and writer Allison Burnett have crafted a sub-par film that never breaks from the typicality found in some many other thrillers. It’s almost as if they watched some of the best cinematic dramas of all time (The Silence of the Lambs, etc.) and decided to offer a remake sans all the interesting parts. Gone fails, and there’s no doubt that Seyfried deserves better material.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com

  • Gone

  • 2012

  • Directed by Heitor Dhalia

  • Written by Allison Burnett

  • Starring Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Daniel Sunjata and Wes Bentley

  • Running time: 95 minutes

  • Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, some sexual material, brief language and drug references

  • Rating: ★☆☆☆

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at Time.com, among other publications. E-mail him at john@hollywoodsoapbox.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *