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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

The Missing  

Review: written 2006

Western thriller, too long, but good nonetheless

This is a lovingly made, well acted movie, worth watching. However, it suffers from a) not quite deciding which genre to fall into, and b) being too long at over 130 minutes.

There are echoes of `The Searchers' in the plot.. well, I say echoes, but this is virtually what they like to call these days `a reimagining' of the same story. However the depth of meaning, characters and symbolism from that movie are nowhere near replicated here.

What we do have is a bunch of fine performances by terrific actors, and a degree of authenticity that reminds you what a great director Howard can be.

Blanchett is the mother, whose daughter is abducted to be sold into white slavery, her lover brutally tortured and killed. The army (with a surprise cameo from Val Kilmer) cannot / will not help, so she enlists the help of her estranged father - a man who abandoned her when young, and went native with the Indians.

The chase to find them uncovers that the ringleader is actually a `brujo', an Indian witch, and part of the battle is against the brujo's witchcraft.

Therein lies part of the problem of the movie - as good and as well crafted as it is, it has parts traditional Western, part character study, part horror and part plain old thriller - and they are individually interesting, but put all together drag on a little bit too long to be a successful.

Don't be put off, it IS a good movie - just plan a few toilet breaks in the middle!





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