The sleeping hit of 2018, To search, showed that you can create an effective mystery thriller on the edge of your seat that is narrated solely through the use of the screens that dominate our daily lives in this century. It starred John Cho as a father whose 16-year-old daughter disappears, leading him to use all the tools of the internet to try and retrace her steps to find her. His succession, missing, actually improves on that idea with a different story and set of characters, and takes several leaps forward in creating a cork of a suspense picture similar to what a movie master like Hitchcock would have made had he also been an IT genius.
Watching To search, which was directed and co-written (with Sev Ohanian) by Aneesh Chaganty, I kept thinking how the real stars of the play were the film editors who had to piece together a puzzle of images to create a cohesive story. Then it makes sense that the writing/directing reins of Missing have been handed over to them To search editors, Will Merrick and Nicholas D. Johnson. Not only have they stayed true to the spirit of the franchise they brought to life, they’ve taken it to a new level.
Essentially, this is really an old-fashioned detective story dressed up for a modern-day audience who will fully identify with the idea of a movie told solely from the POV of screens, be it on our phones, our computers, our security cameras, our televisions. is. sets, our watches and all kinds of technological devices with screens on them that spy on us 24/7. It’s extremely big brother, and this franchise’s extremely clever conceit is as new as they come, even with a TV series in the middle of it all called Unfiction that cleverly mirrors the real story as it unfolds.
The main plot revolves around June (Storm Reid), a young woman who discovers her mother Grace (Nia Long) has gone missing while on a holiday trip to Colombia with her new boyfriend, Kevin, after meeting him on an online dating service.
When she can’t be reached through normal means, June begins to panic, and slowly, using the tools of her computer and other devices, she uncovers some inconvenient truths, not just about Kevin after he checks his emails and texts. messages, but also about her mother herself. who may not be exactly who she thought she was. The conspiracy gets very complicated as details of June’s life are also revealed in flashbacks as we see her losing her father James (Tim Griffin) at a very young age and then being raised by single mother Grace.
Along the way, she enlists the help of her mother’s best friend, Heather (Amy Landecker), her BFF Veena (Megan Suri), and a Colombian man she befriends on the internet named Javi (Joaquim de Almeida), who is a becomes an integral part of tracking down the couple when the search leads directly to some specific tourist sites in Colombia.
Later, as desperation sets in, she allies herself with FBI Agent Park (Daniel Henney), with the missing American woman becoming fodder for the FBI and experts on the Internet as the story goes viral.
To say more, or add spoilers, would be critical malpractice, so I’ll leave it at that, except for the visual style and crackerjack editing by the new cutting team of Austin Keeling and Arielle Zakowski, not to mention a plausibly made screenplay and well acting, all adding up to make this a thoroughly entertaining thriller for a generation addicted to their devices.
It helps to have such an appealing lead role in Reid, who carries the film adroitly, aided by the ever-fine Long (also seen this week in Netflix’s you people). Leung, who keeps us guessing if he’s a good or bad man, and Griffin, who shows real range as her father. the Almeida also has a strong presence in his few scenes. Producers are Ohanian, Chaganty and Natalie Qasabian. Timur Bekmambetov returns as executive producer.
Sony Pictures will release the production of Stage 6 Films and Screen Gems on Friday.
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