Thursday, November 15, 2007

Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone

Not exactly entertaining, Gone Baby Gone is still an excellent movie.

Overall, it evokes (invokes? I never know) feelings of disgust and sadness - disgust at not just the child-kidnapping pedophiles of the world but at the much more common self-absorbed, neglectful parents who 'protect' children from such monsters. The sadness, of course, is for the kids who have to put up with them.

It's also a morality play. And I don't mean that in a demeaning way, for once. While I would not have made the same choices the protagonist did, the movie portrays an array of choices that are all hurtful, which is more realistic than the usual black-and-white decisions faced by big-screen heroes.

I also appreciated the casting, as the main character is a baby-faced pretty-boy in a world of very rough characters, and between his legs swing a pair of brass balls that would make Charles Bronson proud.

The biggest fault is the lack of character development. I didn't really care what happened to anyone. Of course I felt sympathy for the children and a desire to see justice done to the bad guys, but the movies focuses mainly on the investigators, about whom I had no feelings at all. As a result, it seems to drag in spots when drama and suspense should have been building, and it falls far short of the strong emotional finish that it promises.

Gone Baby Gone is a well-made movie, but not one that I'd be anxious to watch again. If I want to feel disgust, sadness, and see a bunch of people I don't care about, I can just drive to Walmart.


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