Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movie Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl is the latest in director David Fincher's long line of grim, who done it, procedural flicks and as of now, stands tall as one of the best films of the year. Adapted from Gillian Flynn's uber popular novel of the same name, Gone Girl is a dark and thoroughly engrossing nail bitter, loaded with stellar performances, gorgeous cinematography and tons of jaw dropping moments, stemming from both the film's roller coaster plot, and the sheer technical brilliance displayed by it's director.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star as Nick and Amy, the most fucked up cinematic couple of recent memory. Things start off great for the pair; two young, hip urban professionals, gallivanting around New York City without a care in the world. They're kind of smarmy faux intellectuals, who seem to spend more time having sex in public than actually working for a living. The good times come to a screeching halt however when a series of Great Recession sized problems derails their sexy, yuppie dream life. They both lose their slick writing jobs, Amy's trust fund runs dry and Nick's mother comes down with stage four cancer back home in Missouri. The couple leave the city defeated and move down to the sticks to care for Nicks dying mother...and that's when the fun begins. By the time we catch up with them on their five year anniversary, the loving spark in their relationship has transformed into a five alarm blaze of spite and resentment. Amy suddenly goes missing and ol' Nick becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance.

Between Flynn's screenplay and Fincher's uncanny eye, Gone Girl is a veritable stimulation overload. Affleck and Pike bring their characters to life with intense passion, but Pike as "the Amazing Amy" walks away with the MVP trophy on this one. She rattles through Flynn's rapid fire dialogue with ease while giving off that patented, tortured Fincher-esque vibe that is utterly entrancing. Kim Dickens shines as the small town detective assigned the case, equal parts skeptic and hardass, while even Tyler Perry excels as Nick's celebrity defense attorney. Who'd have seen that one coming huh? Fincher's posse from The Social Network returns to help spruce Gone Girl up to Oscar frontrunner levels. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' score is as unnerving as the film's characters just as Jeff Cronenweth's cinematography is stunning as usual. Really, I don't think you'll see a more beautiful murder scene than in Gone Girl. That's Fincher for you though. The man who brought strap-on knife dildos, orange juice laced napalm and frosty Swedish sodomy to the big screen has just done it again, with semen releasing box cutters.

Sound weird? Cause it is! This movie is literally one giant head trip. The film opens with a shot of Nick caressing the back of Amy's skull, wondering just what the hell is going on inside. Gone Girl's first act does sort of drag a bit, feeling like a lethargic version of last year's Prisoners and actually had me worried for a second, then the second act takes a hard left turn and launches the film into high gear. Forget everything you think you know about Amy and Nick, about traditional crime and noir flicks, even about Fincher because when Gone Girl goes off the rails there's no stopping this twisted psychological train wreck.  This is some of Fincher's spryest directing in years, it's wild, terrifying and in a weird way, channels the spirit of Tyler Durden with some of the most unreliable narration since the Project Mayhem days, guaranteed to leave you squirming on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Gone Girl, it's David Fincher doing what he does best...thoroughly fucking with his audience.

1 comment:

  1. Gone Girl is a wonderful movie and is by far one of the best films I’ve seen all year.