Gone Review

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  • Gone film still


You'd be best to sidestep this daft and irksome Amanda Seyfried-starring abductioner.

Comely, pillow-lipped prom-queen-next-door Amanda Seyfried has racked up an impressive CV since making her debut in 2004's Mean Girls. Well, impressive in scope, at least – in the past two years alone she's played a fairy tale heroine (Red Riding Hood), an escort (Chloe), a bookworm (Jennifer's Body) and a conservative college student (Dear John). All of which she's pulled off with peppy conviction.

Before she adds pornstar to that list later this year with Lovelace, Seyfried finds herself in hot broth in Gone, an absurd but faintly compelling sub-Kiss the Girls abductioner from Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia.

The story is simple enough (and far more one-dimensional than the crudely 'shopped promotional poster suggests): Cagey waitress Jill Conway (Seyfried) is haunted by a traumatic event from several years before, whereby she was snatched from her home by an unidentified assailant and dumped in a hole in Oregon's pine-sprinkled Forest Park, only to miraculously escape thus avoiding the messy ritual of being gagged, fucked and gutted.

The officers assigned to the case tell a different story. To them she's 'Crazy' Jill Conway, the local girl who fabricated her own kidnapping in a desperate cry for attention and was subsequently hauled away by men in long whites coats. But when her older sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) goes AWOL the night before her end-of-year finals, Jill sets off in pursuit of a familiar culprit. She's determined to bring this mystery scumbag to justice once and for all, with or without the law on her side.

Indeed, the law is very much the figurative spanner in Jill's vendetta plot. While to the film's plot the fuzz are a constant procrastinatory nuisance – scenes in which Jill resourcefully pieces together the identity of her phantom abductor (abetted by plenty of eyelash-fluttering and cleavage-pouting) are interrupted by idle jargoning between bull-headed badge-wavers that only adds weight to the film's otherwise trim runtime.

This narrative padding would be forgiven were the payoff worth enduring the bucket load of fetid red herrings that's hurled in the audience's direction. But a woefully poor third act, hampered by an implausibly swift resolution and a brief encounter with the most pathetic on-screen serial killer ever, leaves you feeling a mixture of teeth-grinding ire and sympathy towards Seyfried for putting in such a committed performance.

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