herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

The mystery thriller that's murder to watch

thriller

maybe it's just me, but after being fed all the hype, David Fincher's Gone Girl must rate as one of the biggest let-downs in recent years.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are excellent as Nick and Amy Dunne, an outwardly happily married couple - but one with plenty of dark secrets.

In flashback, we see them falling in love, and then the dream turning sour as he has an affair and she's revealed as - well, a total nut bag.

Their dreams of big careers in the Big Apple are over, and they're now in Missouri, he running a bar, she living off her trust fund.

Now, in the present, Amy disappears on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary.

The case becomes a media circus, and Amy's overbearing parents - who based a much-loved children's book character on her - lead the hunt for her, gleefully hogging the cameras.

Nick, meanwhile, comes across as a bored bystander, who increasingly looks like he bumped off his wife and hid the body - and a trail of obvious clues soon has him down as a dead cert for death row.

The trouble here is that too much is given away too soon, and a missing person mystery soon becomes a dark comedy, where nothing is what it seems. There are some decent moments - the public trial and persecution of Nick by salacious TV shows is well done, and his twin sister Margo, well played by Carrie Coon, provides one of the standout, decent characters.

Pike has a tough role - and is excellent - but there's a sense that this is all a bit over the top, and a borefest that could have done with some judicious cutting back.

Tyler Perry is also top notch as Tanner Bolt, an attorney who can help even the most helpless of defendants before they go to trial.

As a comment on the nasty nature of society - and how victims and martyrs can be created out of nothing by nitwits on social media - it's excellent, but it's all a bit silly before a nice twist thankfully brings it all to a close.

DVD EXTRAS: A bit bare bones, with an UltraViolet copy with the Blu-Ray and a full-length director's commentary.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News