Missing, The

April 1st, 2004 Film, Film Reviews, Filmink

Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna Boyd, Aaron Echkart, Val Kilmer

Distributor: Columbia Tristar

Worth: $10.00

Released: March 4

Ron Howard is a better filmmaker than he is a storyteller. His talent in colouring and creating a scene, casting and directing actors and building emotion have few peers in Hollywood.

Not as successful is his choice of material — as a result, his films usually end up better than they look on paper. The Missing is such a movie. It’s certainly thrilling, well acted (virtually a given with Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones sharing the screen) and technically brilliant, but there’s something missing in the story itself; it could have been a straight to video shocker in much lesser hands.

Blanchett is a headstrong rural mother in the old West when her daughter is kidnapped by a gang of Native American slavers who intend to sell their quarry in Mexico.

At the same time, her estranged, part Indian father (Jones), comes back into her life seeking to reconnect with her, and the chase is on through stark and beautiful locations as they track the girls and their menacing captors.

No real surprises, just performances that drift between powerful and comfortable, fantastic locations and several genuinely gripping scenes.

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