Gone Girl (2014)

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4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast

Couldn't commit to being a dark comedy and instead ended up a limp, laughable thriller

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Gone Girl

Studio:  Regency Enterprises

Genre(s):  Drama/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  September 2, 2014 (New York Film Festival)/October 3, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

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I really wish I had killed her…

On their anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) gone.  There are signs of a struggle and when police led by Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) examine the house, it appears that a crime has occurred…leaving Nick the prime suspect in the disappearance.  The events leading up to Amy’s disappearance are revealed, but all might not be as it seems as the media descends for what could be one of the biggest stories of the year.

Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl adapts the 2012 novel by Gillian Flynn.  The move was released to praise and a strong showing at the box office.   Among other accolades, it received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (Rosamund Pike) with many feeling it had been snubbed in other categories.

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Ben, this script makes Madea look dramatic

I generally love Fincher films, but I skipped Gone Girl in the theater.  With one friend who’s opinion I respect hating the movie and another friend with similar taste liking the movie, I didn’t know what to expect from Gone Girl.  I have to say with disappointment that I didn’t enjoy the movie.  Due to the type of movie it is, a *****Spoiler Alert***** will be in effect for the rest of the review.

I did want to like Gone Girl.  I love the skewering of popular media, but the movie suffers a real problem.  Marked as a dramatic thriller, it is anything but dramatic or thrilling.  The movie should really be a dark comedy, but the film cannot commit to this genre as well.  It ends up just being a rather limp thriller about stupid people.  For a genius, Amy is one of the dumbest people to try to fake her death.

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Help me…I’m trapped in a really dull script

The movie borrows a lot of its plot from the Scott Peterson case from 2002 which had the charming attractive Peterson killing his pregnant wife.  Here, the plot is flipped by having the wife be a psychotic person willing to kill.  She’s a genius but leaves so many plot holes in her plans that even the idiotic police and Nick cannot figure out a way to prove what she’s done…the idea that she was cleared by the media should have been played up more because there is no way that any investigators (especially involving the murder of Doogie Howser) would be able to figure out the plot.  This is another reason that the movie should have been played for more comedy because it could have been more easily forgiven.

The acting isn’t bad.  Rosamund Pike does steal the show as the psychotic Amy.  The performance is more fun and trashy to watch than believable, so I don’t know that all the praise is deserving.  She isn’t very believable as a character and instead is campy.  Ben Affleck plays Ben Affleck again, but he’s good at it so he can hold the movie.  I like his sister played by Carrie Coon, and the cops played by Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit are also good.  I don’t even mind Tyler Perry, but as a big shot attorney, he doesn’t seem to give great advice.

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Who are you calling a dirty mouth breather, lady?!?!

The movie is lacking that Fincher style.  I thought it was very bland and not that impressive as a visually.  There were a lot of ways this movie could have gone stylistically, but it chose to go for straightforward…and straightforward doesn’t help what I found to be flaws in the story.

This movie reminds me a lot of Gus Van Sant’s To Die For which like Gone Girl was a set-up of a true crime (the New Hampshire teacher Pamela Smart who convinced her students to kill her husband).  To Die For got it.  That movie got the tone, acting, and look that Gone Girl needed and despite the more comedic stance, it was a better drama.  I know I’m in the minority here, but Gone Girl wasn’t the film I hoped for.  It was instead a bloated movie that thought it was far smarter than it really was.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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