Whenever you’re watching a film and the audience is prompted to constant and consistent engagement with yells and other words, or expletives favorably of course, toward the screen, you are in for a whole treat!
That’s the vibe I experienced at the Philly advance screening of MISSING last week and, I must admit, it was one of the best theater experiences I’ve had in a while. And it was definitely a bonus that the film was co-starred by cultural icon Nia Long and younger phenom Storm Reid.
In “Missing,” Grace (Long) goes missing while on vacation with her boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung). Possessing little information and blocked by international barriers, her daughter June (Reid) uses every internet and social media tool at her disposal to locate her, uncovering a web of lies, deceit and danger in the process.
The “searching for a missing person” concept isn’t a novel one and neither is the use of internet and modern technology – the movie is directed by two of the same minds behind “Searching” (Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick) – but what is different and appreciated is the chemistry of the two leads and watching two women of color anchor the film, with delightful results.
Reid portrays June with equal parts ingenuity and desperation, ably carrying the weight of the film and holding the audience’s attention well beyond the twisty reveal.
And after watching and thoroughly enjoying Long’s return to last December’s long awaited dramatic comedy The Best Man: Final Chapters, it was exciting to see her in a thriller while keeping the audience guessing about Grace’s whereabouts…and motives!
What also works with a film like “Missing” is the relatability of it all, with the use of current technology, increasing one’s ability to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the revealing of the story. I want to say more about the latter, but the less you know going in to the film the better.
What I will say is that I watch tv and films at home with captions. Between getting older and swearing the speaking (not music) volumes have decreased over the years, it could be difficult to follow along with various readings of emails, texts, messages etc. that are used as plot devices. I highly recommend anyone who needs to utilize caption and hearing accessibility at the theater if offered (which may also help with those who are reading impaired).
A fun and well-acted thriller, with good supporting performances from Megan Suri as Vena and Joaquim de Almeida as Javi, “Missing” is one I will certainly add to the rewatch queue once it’s released on digital and streaming. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars on the MMTrometer.
MISSING opened in theaters today January 19.
Until next thought, Thomasena