Missing Review

The first film in the kidnapping series was pretty good so the question was definitely if this sequel would also be solid or would it just sort of do the same things all over again? Well it should feel rather similar in a lot of ways but the actual mystery is very different. I also think the approach of only having the characters appear through phone cameras and computer cams is such a good idea that you could do a lot of these without it getting old.

The movie starts with showing us June’s past and how her father died a while back. Grace has done her best to raise June but is now looking to rebound with another guy named Kevin and so the two of them are going on a trip for a while. June will stay at home with the neighbor as a caretaker. June figures she’ll just throw a huge party in protest but when she gets to the airport to await her mom’s return, Grace never appears. June starts to dig deeper into this and it would appear that her mother may have been kidnapped. The problem is that this took place in a different country and June can’t speak Spanish. Additionally her funds are low and it’s hard to dig up any leads. How can she find her mom?

As this is a mystery film the plot will continue to adapt and evolve as June finds out more pieces to the puzzle. The less you know about the actual story, the more you will enjoy the experience. In that way mystery films do tend to have less replay value than other genres since the main hook is finding out what’s going on. In a rewatch you will of course know all of this right from the jump. The execution is good enough where it’ll be a pretty good watch either way though. The movie does a good job of slowly increasing the tension with each scene and the more June finds out, the deeper the mystery goes. There are a lot of red herrings and misdirects along the way but none that leave you shaking your head. Everything here makes sense.

Sure you can probably find some little things that you can drill into or nitpicks here and there but on the whole it all makes sense. The only scene that did stretch things a bit involved opening the door in a very shady circumstance. So to keep this very vague, if someone knocks on the door and asks you to let him in….the first thing you should do is not let him in and then call the cops. If you want to play it safe you can say that you’re coming to the door or something to stall for time and make it sound like you will open while you call the cops. All very valid strategies here but under no circumstances do you open the door. Yes, that includes if it’s a friend you recognize or a distant family member.

With very few exceptions should you open that door and considering all of the circumstances here I thought it was crazy that the door was opened. It’s the only part where it felt like the film got a little sloppy and should have come up with another scenario. It does lead us to a rather intense climax though. In the climax my only note is what I say for all action films. If you finally get the upper hand on your attacker and knock him down, you really got to finish him off. Yeah you may have some mixed feelings about this but keep in mind that if you’re in a life or death situation, turning your back to an opponent who is only stunned will lead to disaster every time. I’m not saying you have to go lethal here but at least put the opponent in a position where he can’t get up. Break a leg or something but a quick extra blow to the head is probably easier and quicker since you’re not going to be in the best state to calculate your next move. Every time a hero knocks the villain down and turns to run instead I just have to shake my head.

Meanwhile June is a solid main character here. She definitely doesn’t start off as being particularly likable so her character arc is about being more grateful and voicing her concerns instead of bottling everything up. As a result she is good by the end but for the first chunk of the film you just feel bad for Grace the whole time. Well you still feel bad for her by the end too but you aren’t blaming it on June by then. Grace is a good character as well but she definitely kept too many things to herself. Depending on what she had told June earlier she could have avoided large parts of the film.

We could have the whole rebound conversation here as well but I’m going to go for a different tact here instead. Now, I still say the rebound’s not a good idea and going off on a trip and leaving your daughter behind is even more sketchy. No, what I’m going to focus on here is online dating. Yeahhhhhhhh that’s never a good idea. I’m just going to come out strong here and say that you should never even try online dating. It may be a bit jaded of me but as it is you can barely really know someone in real life. Trying to know someone online just adds a whole other layer to it. You have absolutely no idea what the person on the other side is even like.

There’s also already the idea that if someone has resorted to online dating then dating in person hasn’t been working out so well so you’re probably dealing with some issues here. You just can’t believe anything you hear over the computer and when she vanishes Kevin would be my first suspect too. Sure he has an emotional sob story he explains over the computer and he’s been through a tough time but what would make me believe any of it? I’m telling you I’m just too jaded for online dating and a film like this one sort of just underscores the point even more. Whether he ends up being the villain or not, you just think about what could have been.

Actually that does remind me of one more scene that was a bit plot convenient. It involves a shootout that seems to escalate a little too quickly. Especially with the stakes involves you figure that this just wouldn’t happen. It still can and does happen at times in real life so it’s not a big thing, just a small thought. It felt a little convenient and I would have bought into the person tripping a little more readily.

The film is fairly serious the whole time so the brief bouts of humor from Javier and Veena are nice little icebreakers here. Javier is someone June hires to help her find some clues and he really does a good job. The guy is trying really hard and you like his determination because he clearly doesn’t have a ton of money and is trying to earn a little extra on the side. He’s got an old fashioned bike while everyone has a moped so he’s definitely at a disadvantage but doesn’t give up. Then you have June’s friend Veena who is good for moral support. She can maybe be a bit oblivious to context clues like treating the case as if it was a TV episode though.

Overall, Missing is a very solid movie. The mystery will definitely have you engaged and invested from start to finish. There are a lot of twists and turns here and I can safely say that I didn’t guess the whole mystery. It’s a fairly small cast so statistically you have a decent chance of picking out who the villain is but picking it out through logic as opposed to by chance will likely be difficult. The film does give you a fair amount of clues though so the whole thing feels fair. My main gripe with mystery films can be when they just make it up and so this film dodges that completely. You’ll end up being satisfied with the reveal as well as the conclusion. Missing is really a complete package all the way around. I’ll definitely be up for more films in this style. I feel like the next logical step is to have the main character be kidnapped this time but she has her phone or laptop with her and so she can communicate but her gps has been deactivated somehow. So she has to try and find someone to help her but of course it’s tough when you don’t know where you are. Who knows, maybe the studio will consider this idea!

Overall 7/10


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