Director: Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick | Script: Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick | Cast: Storm Reid (June), Nia Long (Grace), Tim Griffin (James), Amy Landecker (Heather), Ken Leung (Tim), Megan Suri (Veena), Joaquim de Almeida (Javi), ea | Time to play: 111 minutes | Year: 2023
The rather enjoyable thriller appeared in 2018. searching in which a father went to look for his missing daughter through modern (social) networks and applications. The viewer was only shown their online activities. The idea was not entirely fresh, because it was copied from a colleague Hostile. Four and a half years later, by the same creators Missing. The idea is the same, and the starting point turns out to be not even that old-fashioned.
This time it revolves around teenager June, who has a difficult relationship with her overprotective mother Grace after her father’s death. When Grace takes a romantic trip to Colombia with her new love, June is happy to get away from it all. So she throws a house party. When she wakes up on Monday morning, she almost forgets to pick up her mother and her boyfriend from the airport. But June returns with an empty car: mother and friend have disappeared.
It has to be said that especially the first half of this nearly two-hour police thriller comes in like a… uh… cookie. June investigates and learns that her mother never left. She hires a somewhat chaotic local detective who quickly manages to provide more clarity, but at the same time only adds to the mystery. Because could she trust the man Grace went on vacation with, and maybe Grace’s own mother also has a secret agenda?
Directors Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick never slow down with their own setting, making you increasingly curious about the true circumstances of the disappearance. Screens, apps, chats, cameras, searches, face-to-face conversations, and messages fly all around you (oddly enough, in crisp resolution even on older devices), but filmmakers know how to stream. information to the audience clearly.
The bite-sized pieces betray that Missing more structured and schematic than initially appears to be the case. However, the raging high-speed train constantly threatens to lose control in the second half. Not just because of June’s increasingly sentimental realization that she misses her mother, but mainly because of the abundance of plot twists. By constantly misleading us, Johnson and Merrick lose touch with their audience, especially when it turns out that their obvious clues have been noticed and flagged one by one.
The fascination turns into the feeling that it is better that the case be completed as soon as possible, because then at least we will know what the situation is. However, the genre of a digital search for the real facts still works, if only because many apps and devices have been added since 2018 that offer new perspectives. However, it remains to be seen if a third film in the series will lead to similar surprising angles. The danger of burnout lurks around the corner, especially if the director repeatedly resorts to the trick of looking at the screen of someone he doesn’t believe.
It’s Missing falling into below-the-line mediocrity is because the nonsense writers no longer knew how to fool the viewer and divert attention from the main issues. This is not only at the expense of credibility, but is above all an attack on the intelligence of the viewer. Where you sit on the edge of your seat for the first hour, you can gradually lean back and relax.