Gone Girl director David Fincher is no stranger to twisty tales that are heavy on the moral ambiguity. (Also see: Se7en, The Game and Fight Club.) His latest movie is two-thirds of a thriller that is successfully tense, though you are likely to figure out where the story is headed before it arrives there. The last third of the film however, makes things convoluted, exits reality and ends up somewhere silly. By the time the credits roll at the end of the overlong journey, your eyes are likely to be rolling in disbelief.
When Nick (Ben Affleck) comes home to find his home empty with signs of a struggle, he alerts the police and a manhunt starts to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike). Soon suspicion turns towards Nick, and he finds himself being scrutinized by both the police and the media. Where is Amy? Did he kill her? As the story progress, new revelations surface and the viewer’s expectations get toyed with.
The movie is well-shot and well-acted overall, though subtlety goes out the window near the finish line. Affleck is kind of a blank for the first half of the movie, but this works well for the intrigue as you can project your suspicions on him, like the media do within the film. An interesting angle here is the examination of how the media manipulate public perception in a high-profile crime.
For the screenplay, author Gillian Flynn adapted her own bestselling novel. Word spread that the ending of the book didn’t match the ending of the film, which upset readers. But after some research online, it seems that actually the endings match pretty closely. And it is indeed a satisfying ending, it’s just a shame that the film takes such an over-the-top route to get there.
If you haven’t seen Gone Girl by now, despite all the hype surrounding it when it came out and if you somehow avoided spoiling the ending for yourself online, it is still entertaining enough to experience. Get settled in though, as the journey takes an unnecessarily long two and a half hours. The movie is too goofy to be especially memorable, but apparently Affleck’s endowment can be spotted for half a second if you pause at just the right moment during a shower scene. So we’ll always have that.