Thursday, October 2, 2014

Movie Review: 'Gone Girl' MIssing Any Sort of Originality

Gone Girl (2014, directed by David Fincher. USA, English, color, 147 minutes) As I sat and watched "Gone Girl" my feelings toward it went from intrigue to annoyance in about the first 10 minutes. Not knowing what the story was about aside from the straightforward title I was hoping the story would be as interesting as its vague title. Boy, was I wrong.

Directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, based on her 2012 bestselling novel, "Gone Girl" throws out any conventional sense of an atmospheric thriller, like Fincher's own "Zodiac", and gives us a film full of standard Lifetime cliches with a lot more bloody violence. OK, there's atmosphere, just no thrills.

On the day of their wedding anniversary, Nick (Ben Affleck) has come home to discover his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) is missing. After just one day, media attention on the case is full throttle with a tough-as-nails cop (Kim Dickens) trying to peg the apparent murder on Nick, and the public already throwing stones at the charmingly apathetic husband.

What progresses in a glacial two-and-a-half film is a standard exercise of what happens when a bored, rich white woman has nothing better to do with her time than concoct a whole mess of a plan that in the end served no purpose at all.

It may have an all-star cast and Fincher at the helm, but it doesn't take away from the fact that this is material perfect for Lifetime. The man is always bad and the woman is always good. There's nothing to get caught up in here, just waiting for the inevitable conclusion and seeing the cookie-cutter Lifetime characters stick to form (like the female cop who seems to be on a mission to make sure Nick did it).

One standout was Tyler Perry, who plays a celebrity-driven attorney representing Affleck's character. He provides some good laughs, and you know it's a bad film when he's the best part of it.

Save your time. Even a good director like Fincher can't save this run-of-the-mill story of the made-up problems of rich white people.

Rating: D-

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