Gone is a mediocre thriller, PG-13 style

Gone – 2012 

Directed by Heitor Dhalia
Starring Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley, Sebastian Stan, Katherine Moenning, Michael Paré
Screenplay by Allison Burnett

Here’s for not being a victim.  The protagonist from the movie Gone had been kidnapped, nearly killed and lived to tell about it.  She wasn’t believed.  Instead of accepting this, she changes her life, becoming obsessed with self-defense and a personal search for the person who done her wrong.  Despite all of her caution and effort in becoming a stronger person, her sister disappears, presumably at the hands of the same person.

That she isn’t believed is pure plot contrivance.  If the police believe her, it becomes harder to write the story.  You need coincidence, timing, mystery, and some of those other developments that separate stuff like this from, say, Silence of the Lambs, or, to a lesser extent, Kiss the Girls.

Another convenience is while she tells the police, her sister’s boyfriend, and her friend the truth about her sister being kidnapped and is not believed.  She tells almost no one else the truth, and is, for the most part, believed.  This is needed so that she can pick up information about what may have happened.

The person is not a figment of her imagination, and of course, there is a red herring…to say there is two would be a stretch.  Anyone who observes the economy of characters rule should know who it is without hesitation.

What’s left, then?  Seyfried is at her best when she is ignoring morality and forging straight ahead.  If she ever finds the right director, she might do some damage.  Brazilian Director Dhalia is indistinguishable from any other director of a PG-13 movie.  His approach is straightforward and without nuance.  I have not seen anything he created in his native country, but it would seem his reaction to the Hollywood machine is to remove anything about his style that may be distinctive from his repertoire.  The script is without imagination or nuance.  It leaves some questions unanswered, like who the father and daughter are and, say, motive.  My theory is this is due more to keeping the film at an hour and a half, rather than any creative choice.

If you like Seyfried, and don’t like to be challenged by what you watch, this film is for you.

(** out of *****)

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