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"Gone": Lackluster Thriller Doesn't Skimp on the Sexism 

Wednesday, Feb 29 2012

Taking a cue from her Chloe co-star Liam Neeson, a feral-eyed Amanda Seyfried relentlessly tracks her sister's kidnapper in this wholly preposterous and casually sexist thriller, in which all female characters are either hysterical, victim-prone, both, or hopeless second fiddles. (Note: screenwriter Allison Burnett is a he.) The English-language debut of Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia (Adrift) pits .38-brandishing, pill-popping anxiety case Jill (Seyfried)—a serial killer survivor who believes her sis's sudden disappearance marks the score-settling return of her former captor—against the clock and three trailing detectives who think she's cray-cray. Gone's high-polish, mindless action goes down in a Portland filtered through a strained, moody palette of queasy blue-greens and gunmetal greys; it's ripe for a goofy mash-up with the sunny-day satire of Portlandia. Jill is clearly on the edge, evidenced early on by her flashback-triggering PTSD rage during jujitsu self-defense class, but Seyfried's delicate stature simply can't sell the running, jumping, stabbing, shooting, stunt-driving and one-liner-delivering ("I'll sleep when he's dead.") required of a multiplex hero. Mute the bombastic score and there'd be no suspense; do yourself a favor and shut your eyes, too.

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Aaron Hillis


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