Remember when "Taken" was released in 2008? It followed a father, who happened to be a retired CIA agent, as he raced across Europe in order to find his daughter who had been kidnapped. This year, the film "Gone" attempts to be a film in the same vein. Instead of being a quality action film like "Taken," "Gone" is anything but.
In the film, Amanda Seyfried stars as a Jill, a girl whose complicated past causes her to move in with her sister. Jill returns home from work one night to find that her sister has vanished. With memories of her own horrific kidnapping in her mind, Jill immediately believes that her kidnapper has returned but taken her sister instead. With the local law enforcement showing no signs of help, Jill decides to take the case into her own hands and she soon begins a search which will hopefully help free her sister.
To be completely fair to the film, there are some moments of general suspense. One of the main problems with the film is that is unable to build upon these great scenes. A scene that is meant to rattle your nerves is quickly cut off and the suspense is lost altogether. "Taken" was able to punctuate fast-paced action sequences with other great moments, never destroying the key scene before it. The inability of "Gone" to do this is ultimately where most of the film's problems lie.
This problem is most notable in the one of the final scenes of the film, in which the suspected kidnapped is finally revealed. Having heard so much about the kidnapped in earlier scenes we expect something terrifying and unnerving. What we get is a reveal that is the complete opposite. The film seems to just say "here's the bad guy" without any great build up. Not to mention the kidnapped never induces any fear in the viewer.
Then again, the kidnapper isn't the only character that I had problems with in the film. I think it is safe to say that none of the actors or actresses seems believable in their roles. Going back to "Taken," the film worked because Liam Neeson was able to carry a movie by himself and seemed perfect for the lead role. Amanda Seyfried is a talented actress (I've enjoyed her in everything from "Mamma Mia!" to "Letters to Juliet") but she seems all wrong for this part. Whether it actually her or the script is left to be debated, but when the lead performance falters the entire film is left affected.
Overall the film is watchable, but it's hard not to laugh at its ridiculousness. The entire plot is so contrived that nothing is believable or true to life. Furthermore, not one performer seems right for their role. The performances all seem to fall flat, and for a film that requires its audience to make several leaps of faith that only makes the end product more frustrating to sit through.