By Wilson Morales
Poor Amanda Seyfried. While she’s done well in films such as ‘Mean Girls,’ ‘Mamma Mia,’ and ‘Dear John,’ the talented actress can’t seem to get good scripts when it comes to leading roles; and that includes performances in ‘Jennifer’s Body,’ ‘Chloe,’ and ‘In Time.’ This time she alone grabs top-billing in ‘Gone,’ a cliché thriller that lacks intrigue and suspense. It’s so disposable that TV networks such as Cinemax or Chiller may take a pass on grabbing it for their audience.
Seyfried plays Jill Parrish, a diner waitress who claimed she was abducted a year ago from her home and held in a large hole in the park in Portland, Oregon. Somehow, she managed to subdue her kidnapper and escape, but the police didn’t find her story credible and had to institutionalize her for some time. When not working, Jill goes back to the park, still searching for the hole. Being very protective of herself and her sister, Molly (Emily Wickersham), who moved in with her, Jill still walks the streets alone, but carries a gun in her purse and pulls it out to anyone when she feel threatened.
When Molly mysteriously vanishes the night before her exam, Jill believes that her attacker has come back to finish what he started but took the wrong sister. She tries to convince Detective Powers (Daniel Sunjata) and his boss (Michael Pare) to help her find Molly before it’s late, but they turn a blind eye because they think she’s making this up since no evidence turned up the last time they searched the park and wasted lots of manpower. Only Detective Peter Hood (Wes Bentley), the new man on the force, seems to buy her claims and wants to help. Not trusting him or anyone else, Jill is hell bent on saving Molly, even as she runs away from the police, who now feel she presents a danger to herself and are looking to arrest her for already threatening some people.
Unlike Jodie Foster’s psychological and riveting thriller ‘Flightplan,’ where the authorities won’t buy into a woman’s assertions that her son is missing, ‘Gone’ is poorly written with no depth added to any of the characters. There are no dimensions whatever. Wes Bentley, who is trying to make film comeback, comes and goes with no real purpose to his character. Usually, there are some red herrings to throw the audience off from guessing who could be the culprit, but that’s lacking here as well.
Adding to a host of cliché scenes, director Heitor Dhalia managed to throw in a car chase that seems ridiculous and unnecessary. How is that in every film where there are car chases, no one is ever caught? Jill is all of a sudden a fantastic driver? At a running time of 94 minutes, there were plenty of opportunities to patch up the plot holes such as a motive for her initial abduction, or why the kidnapper waited a year later to strike back at Jill? To go on with other questions would be pointless. As we near the end, there’s a moment in the film where things start to really fall apart, and you starting asking yourself why haven’t you left the theater yet?
Seyfried is still young with plenty of films left for her to do. Hopefully, she’ll get better scripts. In time, ‘Gone’ will be seen as a bump in the path to success.