The world is anticipating Gone Girl, and why shouldn’t they? The film hits all the Hollywood checkpoints: A-list director in David Fincher, Ben Affleck as a husband suspected of killing his wife, Neil Patrick Harris as an eerie ex-boyfriend and Tyler Perry as a no-holds-barred lawyer. Based on the book by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay, the main question is, does Gone Girl live up to the hype?
With buildup this enormous, some audiences are destined for disappointment. That said, ignoring the epic promotion, superb director and all-star cast â€”Â Gone Girl comes down to the storyline. By the time the flick clocks in its 149-minute running time (whatever happened to the art of editing?), it’s simply a laborious Dateline ID episode with a ridiculously disappointing ending.
Gone Girl starts strong, a standard whodunit with every bit of publicity building you up for the “shocking twist.” In an effort to not ruin the film with spoilers, no specifics will be mentioned in this review. However, when the “shocking twist” hits, it’s anticlimactic and wildly illogical. Moviegoers require a suspension of disbelief for any film, but the last hour or so of Gone Girl was so implausible that it nearly ruined the entire film. To the film’s credit, the movie stayed true to the book, so if you were a fan of the novel, Gone Girl might be a home run for you.
On the positive side, the pacing is solid, even for its long running time. But the most fascinating aspect of the film is the commentary on fame, media and how quickly the public turns on you. It makes you wonder: how many have been vilified in the press when they were actually the victim?
Although Perry’s role as a cursing, ballsy lawyer is small, it’s one of his best performances â€” so unlike anyone he has played in previous films. Without Madea, his talents still shine. In addition, Ben Affleck is a master at carrying a film â€” even when Gone Girl struggles with extreme absurdity, the Oscar winner manages to make the audience believe, but he can’t save the entire film. Fincher and Flynn also attempt morbid humor, with awkward transitions to campy one-liners which didn’t quite work and often tainted the otherwise dark, stylish thriller.
Gone Girl is far from a terrible film, but it is the “date movie of the year.” The flick might be a blockbuster hit and critics may rave, but the average moviegoer will not be as hypnotized by the hype.
Gone Girl is in theaters now.