film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Missing 2023 * * Stars


I'm a fan of 2018's Searching. In fact, I put it in my top ten picks of that year. Searching is one of those screenlife flicks in which everything is basically shown through social media a la a computer monitor. Missing (my latest review) is a sequel to Searching and I stress the word sequel. I mean it's an eager if not lesser product (like most follow-ups). Not as razor-sharp and/or free-flowing as the latter, Missing feels almost dated and a desperate attempt at a one up. "The best thing you can do to help us is just wait by your phone". Uh nope. Otherwise there'd be no movie.

Missing is like watching Searching through a more convoluted lens. Yeah it's involving even though everything featured is Internet-related but it's too much, too late. I mean why does the film have countless, kooky twists and turns just for the sheer heck of it? And why does Missing run out of filmmaker wiggle room when the screenlife novelty (mentioned earlier) wears off? And oh yeah, why do the cops involved act as though they're moonlighting instead of holding down a full-time job? Ugh.

Running at a drawn-out 111 minutes and coming off as a arithmetic hitch for the audience instead of a tightened-up feature, Missing stars Nia Long, Storm Reid, and Tim Griffin. Long plays Grace Allen, a mom who disappears with her boyfriend on a trip to Columbia. It's up to daughter June (played by Reid) to find out what happened to Grace by way of good old technology. June is one smart cookie with that laptop and she uses different app platforms (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to try to get the job done. By the end of Missing however, we the viewer feel exhausted instead of elated with the annoyance of copious mouse clicks somehow rearing their ugly heads. "Missing" a beat.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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