The Missing

Dan Movie Reviews

The Missing is director Ron Howard’s lastest film. Evoking memories of The Searchers, the story is about a Maggie (Cate Blanchett) and her search for her kidnapped daughter Lilly (Evan Rachel Wood) in New Mexico in 1885. She is aided by her estranged father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who has “gone Apache”. Occasionally violent, and certainly engaging, this film was never dull, even if it did stretch on about 20 minutes too long.

The visual look of the film is quite good, with plenty of low saturation blues and occasionally harsh sunlight. The core of the story, of course, is the relationship between Maggie and her father as they search for Lilly. While they strive for reconciliation, their relationship is strained to the point that it might never come. Musically, James Horner does a satisfactory job, and while strains of Braveheart still seem to be in his system, the score works as a whole and helps push the emotion and tension through the film.

I can’t recall if someone threw up on screen. I’m sure there was something – there had to be. After all, this is a Ron Howard movie, and his “trademark” is having someone vomit. It’s there – you just gotta look for it. Another of his trademarks is, of course, the use of his brother, Clint Howard. Yep, he’s in there too, of course. Even Val Kilmer gets a small role.

The Missing is a pretty gritty film, and a rather interesting story. Like many films this year, it’s “pretty good” – but not great. And with December rushing up at us, there are very few films this year I’ve seen so far that have a definite shot at Oscar.