Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck
GONE GIRL (2014). Director: David Fincher.

A not terribly concerned Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) goes to the police when his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), disappears. His twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon,) who seems to care for her brother a little too much, doesn't like Amy and remarks that whoever took her will probably want to bring her back. While the police repeatedly question Nick, and Amy's very controlled parents appeal to her kidnapper -- or murderer -- on television, Nancy Grace-type Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle) stirs the pot regarding Nick's involvement. But what's really going on here ...? Gone Girl -- some might say tastelessly inspired by all the recent cases of men accused of murdering their wives -- does have some interesting aspects and characters which help disguise the fact that it's actually a fairly routine thriller that becomes increasingly implausible as it progresses. To maintain its twists it simply ignores forensics, logic, and indeed reality, and it has an ending that is one of the sheer dumbest that I've ever seen. Affleck is terribly adequate as Nick and nothing more. Pike is a bit better, but the movie is nearly stolen by Neil Patrick Harris in his turn as an ill-fated suitor of Amy's who has his own personal demons. The main plot twist in this is nothing new. There are some decent supporting performances by Tyler Perry as a lawyer, Kim Dickens as a detective, and Carrie Coon as Nick's sister, among others. Gone Girl is entertaining for much of its length but then it pretty much goes to shit.

Verdict: You've got to be kidding me! **.


angelman66 said...

I agree 100% with your assessment, William - what a waste of talent! So often, a novelist is unable to adapt their own work into screenplay form, which is an entirely different form of storytelling. This movie was a mess and did NOT lead me to want to read the book, either....

William said...

Me, too. I'm surprised how many people loved this -- people who haven't seen many other movies, I suppose!