‘Gone Girl’ Is Sick, Twisted Fun To Be Had (Movie Review)

Gone GirlWhile I have never read the novel of the same name, and despite this movie being directed by one of my favorites, Gone Girl simply looks on the cover like a movie I would eat up and relish every bite of it.  I mean let’s examine everything it has going for it.  It stars Ben Affleck and we all know he’s worth his weight in gold as of late.  He’s also Batman too in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.  And then there’s this guy who’s directing it that just happens to have helmed my favorite film of all time.  Of course we’re talking about David Fincher and that film being Fight Club.  This aforementioned ammunition in conjunction with a novel that everyone I know that has read has done nothing but rave about it has all the right ingredients for something really special.  You can even sprinkle a little Trent Reznor on the top with his contributions in the scoring department making this his third collaboration with Fincher.  The only thing uneasy about this one going in is knowing Reese Witherspoon is a producer, but like in Fight Club I’ll let things that truly do not matter, for the sake of this review of course, slide.

Gillian Flynn, who wrote the novel of Gone Girl, also adapted the screenplay here too.  Okay.  So let me back up here.  Arming myself with that knowledge always makes me a little uneasy too after the disaster that was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which was a great read (see my full review here), but ultimately a stinker onscreen as per my review here.  And in that case too, the screenplay was penned by the book’s author.  How an author can butcher their own work is beyond me, but Flynn has gone on record saying that this film adaptation deviates from that of the novel and is structured a bit differently.  Gulp.  I guess I’ll have to find time to read the book to compare the two.

With Affleck in the lead the rest of the cast lines out with Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Carrie Coon.  Pike plays Affleck’s leading lady in this film.  Her name is Amy and she’s the beautiful wife of Nick Dunne (Affleck).  They seem like the perfect couple, but isn’t the grass always greener on the other side?  You bet it is!  Without venturing into any spoiler territories our story of Gone Girl goes a little something like this.

So if Mr. & Mrs. Smith was a drama, it would go down a little something like Gone Girl does, a bit humorous, very witty, somewhat deadly and a whole bunch of twisted.  In a very sick way Gone Girl is actually therapeutic in a sense for teaching one life lessons of ironically what it takes to keep a marriage alive, kicking and thriving healthy.  However, that’s just my opinion on the matter so take it with a grain of salt.  Yes.  There’s no doubt about it that the key to a happy marriage is it takes two and it’s a lot of work.  Gone Girl definitely showcases that, but it’s that disconnect that happens when the walls of communication fail and are left untreated for too long that the film really exposes and hits it out of the ballpark with.  And then there’s the other side of the spectrum, the love-hate relationship that may develop as well.  That’s where Gone Girl really excels.

It’s the outstanding performances of Ben Affleck (just his facial expressions he makes in here alone are worth the price of admission) and Rosamund Pike that really sell the point I’m trying to make with the whole love-hate thing.  Their chemistry is both dynamic and binding yet perfectly contrasting to create that innocent, awkward and intense tension necessary to pull this gig off.  I’m sure a lot of this success has to do with the direction (bringing out the absolute best in performances here) and style Fincher and crew bring to this production, but make no mistake, Affleck is at the top of his game here, as is Rosamund Pike (I may never look at her the same now).  And while I’m not the biggest Tyler Perry fan there is, I would like to tip my hat to him here with a wickedly awesome performance, albeit I still can’t help seeing Madea every time I look at his face.  I digress.  Equally impressive was the casting of Neil Patrick Harris, which going into this I thought I wasn’t going to like, but he does a complete 360 from the lovable, teenage doctor In Doogie Howser, reminiscent of my childhood, to the crazed scorn lover he portrays in here.  He’s crazy and I love it!

Here’s the deal folks.  I’m glad I did not read the book of the same name beforehand.  I’m not sure how it all unfolds in the book, but this would not have been so enjoyable of a watch had I known about the many twists there are to be found here.  I keep referring to the word twists a lot to give you a sense of direction.  Those expecting to come into something really dark and downward spirally like Prisoners last year are going to be surprised.  I have to admit.  I love the midpoint here.  It flipped everything over and it literally became a whole new movie.  Now don’t get me wrong, Gone Girl does go to some deep, dark places that are too taboo for many or maybe just too real for people (married couples) to actually admit that could happen, but it’s a necessary evil to pull the ingenious feat and plans off of everything that goes down in here, whether they are all plausible or not (it’s a movie after all).

Yes, Ben Affleck’s wife (his character’s wife), Amy (Pike), does go missing in here.  And yes, people do suspect him, but rightfully so as you’ll find out.  It’s a brilliant mystery while also at the same time almost a near perfect caper with many humorous moments and performances, mostly involving Affleck, that just reel you in and never let you go.  It’s riveting in that way.  There are crimes committed and relationship lines broken, but all in all it’s an accurate portrayal of something so real that I could feasibly see tearing two formerly happy people apart and yet at the same time show us the lengths at which (I could use the adjective crazy here) someone would go through to make their spouse suffer, whether it’s warranted or not.  It takes a very sick and diabolical mind to pull off some of these feats you’ll see onscreen and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.  Welcome to the twisted and highly manipulative, but really fun world of Fincher’s Gone Girl.  I know I’m more generous with my score than most critics are, but I can’t wait to revisit this!

5 Doggies for Gone Girl!

The power of manipulation exemplified!

Gone Girl Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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