Advertisements

Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Gone Girl (2014)


Anybody down to get married?

On the wee early hours of July 4th, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) comes home to a bit of a shocker: His wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has mysteriously disappeared. Seeing as how this could possibly be a kidnapping, Nick decides to call the local authorities, in which two detectives (Kim Gordon and Patrick Fugit) get called onto the scene to investigate. While they do initially believe that Nick doesn’t have the faintest clue of what happened to his wife, the way everything is laid out just points towards him. However, they continue on with their investigation and keep themselves as subjective as possible. Problem is, the same couldn’t be said for the media who, upon hearing of this mysterious case, jump on it right away and focus most of their attention on Nick, his efforts to help find Amy, and just whether or not he actually has anything to do with it in the first place. This leads Nick to hire an attorney (Tyler Perry) that will not only help with his public persona, but also may help skewer the investigation away from him. But the truth is out there, just waiting to be exposed, and it’s up to everybody to discover what really happened to Amy.

Alright. Alright. Alright. No, I am not channeling my inner-McConaughey. Nope, instead I’m trying to prep myself for this review here because this baby won’t be easy to talk about. Not because I have so much love and praise for it that putting them all into cohesive, understandable sentences and phrases would be a challenge in and of itself, but because this movie is chock full of surprises.

Which also means something else….SPOILERS!!

Picking up girls in a library. So Affleck.

Picking up girls in a library. So Affleck.

Yes, everybody. It’s that dreaded “s-word” that just about every person on the face of the planet hates to hear, but such is the case with movies like these: The more mysterious they are, the more easier it is for bloggers/writers/critics to spoil the fun for everybody and anybody else out there who may actually be looking forward to seeing this. Because honestly, most of the fun in Gone Girl is from not knowing what to expect next, how, why, where, and from whom. In that sense, it’s your typical David Fincher flick, however, there’s something more fun about this piece in particular.

See, while I have never read the novel of which this movie is adapted from, therefore, I don’t have much knowledge of how it is actually written, seeing this was a total treat for me. I had no idea what to expect, except a possible kidnapping, an investigation into this kidnapping, and a whole lot of mystery. And this, my friends, is what I always look forward to when I see Fincher’s flicks; I expect to be thrown about, tussled around, and taken in all these different directions, until I can’t handle it anymore and want to give up, yet, the ride itself is so much fun, that I just can’t help but keep on with the ride.

And with this ride in particular, it’s satisfying. Not because Fincher keeps us guessing every scene, of every second, with every character, but because, for once and awhile at least, Fincher really seems to be relishing in the material that he’s working with. Don’t get me wrong, when I watch films like Fight Club, the Game, and, to an even lesser extent, Panic Room, I continuously get the idea that not only is Fincher having a great time messing with our minds and our expectations of what to expect next, but that he’s having an even bigger blast just setting up all of these set-pieces and plot-threads. That’s not to say his other, more serious movies aren’t considered “fun”, it’s just that there’s a very dark and morbid tone to them, that where it seems like there’d be a time and place for some fun to be had, there’s nothing but sadness. Which, like I will say again, isn’t a bad thing at all, but watching something like this reminds me what it’s like to go to a David Fincher movie and just witness a master at work with his craft and having a ball with it all.

So, with that said, it goes without saying that yes, Gone Girl is a fun ride, from start to finish. And although I am quite compelled to say more about this movie and its story, I’ll stay away because the real marvel of this film is realizing just what the hell is actually happening in this story, as it is brought to our attention. There’s several twists, turns, and alley-ways this movie goes down throughout its near two-and-a-half-hours, and they’re all unexpected (that’s if you haven’t already read the book).

It should also be noted that while this film definitely takes some aim at the mass-media and, most importantly, biased news broadcasts, Gone Girl isn’t particularly a deep movie. There’s no real sense that what Fincher is creating here, is supposed to be any bit of ground-breaking, thought-provoking, or even revolutionary; instead, it’s just a simple mystery that goes through all sorts of hoops and constantly takes you for a whirl. Is it a bit disappointing? Sort of, yes, but only because we know Fincher is capable of much more than just keeping his stories as simple as they present themselves on the page.

But that said, I’d much rather have an exciting thrill-ride from Fincher, rather than a bold, ambitious piece that seems to miss its mark. Not saying that there are many of those kinds of movies out there, but those expecting this to get a whole bunch of Oscar nominations, may be in for a surprise. A pleasant surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

Anyway, even though this is clearly Fincher’s show for the taking, from the beginning, to the end, he still doesn’t make the fatal mistake of getting in the way of his cast. Which was a smart move on his part, because he’s assembled a pretty talented bunch here. And seeming to be leading the pack is Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, the husband of the missing who everybody, with good reason, calls into question as soon as the story comes to fruition. A lot of people were pretty heated up about Affleck’s casting in the role and although I have not read the book, and therefore cannot attest to this, I will say that Affleck seems tailor-made for the part. Not only does Affleck just light the screen up with that boyish-charm of his, but he also makes us continuously wonder just whether or not he is actually as apart of his wife’s disappearance as the rest of these characters are leading us to believe. While we see that Nick Dunne is a nice guy at heart, albeit, a very troubled-one to say the least, we still know that there’s a human deep down inside of there and although it would be as easy as pie for us to write him off as “the baddie”, the movie makes it quite clear that we shouldn’t and instead, see his side of the story and make up our own conclusions. And most of this is thanks to Affleck for having us constantly question who to believe, and who exactly to root for.

"Uhm.....what's in the box?"

“Uhm…..what’s in the box?”

But although Affleck’s amazing in this role, the one who totally steals the show is Rosamund Pike as his wife, “Amazing Amy”. But see, here’s the double-edged sword of describing Pike in this role without spoiling any of the film’s real surprises: You really can’t. Much of this film is dedicated to her back-story and exactly what happened to her, and to give any of that away would be a total disservice to all parties involved here. So I’ll stay away from really getting into her character, but I will say this: Pike is downright amazing and don’t be surprised if she ends up getting a nomination come Oscar season. Maybe even possibly a win….

You never know, people.

And of course, the rest of this cast is great, if also, quite interesting concerning who Fincher casts in some of these roles. For instance, the casting-decisions of Tyler Perry as the PR-representative of Nick Dunne and Neil Patrick Harris as a slightly off-kilter ex-boyfriend of Amy’s were definitely bold choices; choices which, mind you, were willing to fail at any second. However, they both pay-off and believe it or not, give me more hope in Tyler Perry as an actor, much rather than Tyler Perry as a director (although this still has me scratching my head).

But there’s plenty more where these two came from and they’re all pretty phenomenal to watch, especially since each and everyone brings their own little flavor to this overall meal. Kim Gordon and Patrick Fugit play the two detectives that seem to be just as confused as the audience is in knowing whether or not Nick Dunne did anything to his wife and because of this, it’s interesting to see their conversations with him; Carrie Coon (a favorite of mine from the Leftovers) is great as Nick’s twin-sister and seems like she herself may be up to no good as well, although it’s clear that all she really wants to do is make sure her bro doesn’t get jailed; and Missi Pyle plays a television news-analyst by the name of Eileen Atkins who, get this, has a Southern-accent, likes to bad-mouth certain people in ongoing investigation, and does it all for “the ratings”. Now, tell me, who does that sound exactly like?

Oh, that David Fincher, man! He’s a pure-jokester!

Consensus: Maybe not as deep as Fincher’s previous-flicks, Gone Girl still serves as an exciting, enjoyable, and delightfully twisted tale of a marriage gone wrong, and even worse mystery that may, or may not be, exactly what you think it is.

9 / 10 = Full Price!!

Stop mugging it up for the cameras, Affleck!

Quit mugging it up for the cameras, Affleck!

Photo’s Credit to: Goggle Images

Advertisements

35 responses to “Gone Girl (2014)

  1. ThoughtsFromTheBooth October 3, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ll be seeing it again. The scene between pike and nph has been haunting me since I saw it last week. Great review Dan.

  2. MovieManJackson October 3, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I’ll have to read this after I watch and review. I’m finding many who have seen it have found it tough to avoid spoilers in their write-ups, and I’m avoiding them like the plague until I view! I’m sure it is a great review as always Dan.

    • CMrok93 October 3, 2014 at 4:48 am

      Thanks, man! I steered clear of spoilers in mine, but then again, I say that and most of the time, I have a whole bunch of angry people yelling at me.

  3. Joseph@thecinemamonster October 3, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Excellent review, Dan. It’s definitely watchable, enjoyable, hell, it’s endlessly entertaining, but I did struggle with believability. Pike damn well better garner an Oscar nom for her insanely terrifying performance.

  4. Feeling Fuzzier - A Film Blog October 3, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Awesome review mate 🙂 I also thought this film was fantastic! Pike and Affleck were so good.

  5. angie chui October 3, 2014 at 7:24 am

    still haven’t finished the book but I hear Gillian Flynn wrote a different ending for this one so I’m doubly excited. Unfortunately, I have to wait another week before it hits theaters here. Great review Dan 😀

  6. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop October 3, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Great review mate. Hopefully seeing this over the weekend and very excited to do so.

  7. Mark Hobin October 3, 2014 at 7:45 am

    The ensemble cast of GONE GIRL mesh like the movement of a precision timepiece. Rosamund Pike, Kim Dickens, & Carrie Coon have arrived.

  8. cindybruchman October 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I read the first paragraph and then stopped and skipped to the end to see what rating you gave it. Off to see it this weekend. I predict the movie and your review was nicely done. 🙂

  9. Brittani October 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Great review! I’m glad you enjoyed the big reveal 🙂

  10. whitdenton98 October 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I didn’t read your review yet just because I want to go in blind, but I’m really excited.

  11. sati October 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Loving all the praise, especially for Ros. Her character is one of the most fascinating ones I’ve ever read about.

  12. Three Rows Back October 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Thought the final third got more and more ridiculous but otherwise a fun ride. Good work again Dan.

  13. Chris October 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Nice review, Dan. Definitely a fun, twisted thrill ride, but one that stays extremely faithful to the source material. Good stuff.

  14. Pingback: Gone Girl | The Soul of the Plot

  15. epilepticmoondancer October 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I love the way you wrote this up. It is completely different to the way I saw it, the way I wrote about it, but your write-up had me engrossed and agreeing with everything you said. Again, I really dig your writing style my man. Kepp up the good work!!!

  16. Kristin October 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I really enjoyed this movie as you! Not as much as you, and that’s probably because I read the book (if you read my post, you’ll know what I mean). But nice review – you made a lot of good points. I do see this movie getting some nominations come awards season.

  17. thomasjford October 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Yet another great review of this movie, makes me want to see it ASAP! Well done Dan!

  18. Writer Loves Movies October 9, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Great to see this one get a full price ticket Dan. Really enjoyed this one. I completely agree with you that Rosamund Pike steals the show and I think she deserves some recognition at awards season too.

  19. Pingback: Gone Girl | Apple Loves Japan!

  20. sweet Cheke January 3, 2015 at 6:24 am

    I have ti say that I thought this film was absolutely terrible, the story was stupid and the whole thing came across as a MOW

  21. Pingback: Top 10 of 2014 | Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

  22. Pingback: Movie Review – Game, The |

  23. Pingback: Movie Review – Fight Club |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: