Missing

Missing Movie Review

“Missing” is a movie that is from the same people that created “Searching”. That movie used the concept that everything you see on the big screen is from a small screen. That means everything seen is footage from computer screens, phone screens, and other devices – you get the idea. The original “Searching” did a terrific job in making all of that seem real. Now “Missing” follows in those same footsteps to slowly explain a mysterious disappearance and one girl’s relentless ‘searching’ for the truth.

 

 

Meeting the Allen family is first a throwback to an earlier time. In captured video footage from many years ago, the dad, James Allen (played by Tim Griffin) is with this daughter and his wife. But he begins bleeding from his nose. Then the screen in interrupted by Google searches about brain cancer and survival prospects. It’s not looking good for him.

 

But then back in the present time, the wife and daughter have moved on and moved away. Away from Texas, and now outside of LA, the mom Grace Allen (played by Nia Long) is now on a video chat. On the other end is her daughter June (played by Storm Reid). Grace always uses her little cute nickname for June – Junebug. June, of course, hates it. Like many of the passive-aggressive things that her Mom always does.

 

Grace is about to leave on an overseas trip to Columbia. She is going with a recently-met boyfriend named Kevin Lin (played by Ken Leung). Kevin seems really nice, and he makes her Mom happy. At least, he keeps her Mom occupied and out of June’s business. June is now turned eighteen, and she wants to hear zero advice from anyone! June has ’emergency’ money now, and plans to spend that with best friend Veena (played by Megan Suri) on a wild party.

 

But now it is time for June to get to the LAX airport and pickup Grace and Kevin when they return. She is there with a silly ‘Welcome Home’ sign, ready to greet her Mom. When they get back. Whenever they get back to the States. Well — if they get back home.

 

It’s been hours that June is at the airport, and there is no Grace or Kevin. Many flights have returned from Columbia, but none of they carried them back home. Her Mom’s phone seems to be disabled, so June is just a little bit panicked.

 

Junes is in LA, and her Mom and Kevin had been in Columbia. There is no way for her to know what happened there. She contacts the hotel they stayed at in the city down there. Good thing there are translate apps on the Internet!

 

They checked out, but nobody knows where they went to. The security footage from the camera is about to be taped over. June contacts an FBI Field Office in the Columbian city. She speaks to Agent Park (played by Daniel Henney).

 

Agent Park can only do certain things in a foreign country, and only of there is some suspicion of foul play. June does not know of anything that might be wrong, but her friend Veena convinced her to do some private snooping on Kevin.

 

June and Veena are able to hack into Kevin’s online e-mail and various sites. That includes the dating app which he used to meet her Mom, Grace. June is still at loss to know what happened.

 

June uses an international version of a ‘task finder’ app, and she is able to locate a person in Columbia. Javier Ramos (played by Joaquim de Almeida) is a local from the area, and he speaks enough English that June is able to communicate with him.

 

Grace has a good friend who is a lawyer, named Heather (played by Amy Landecker). Heather is concerned that June is able to get into Kevin’s personal stuff, but she knows that it might expose a lead in this case.

 

Javier is able to check the hotel, but the security footage is gone. He has a way to get good information out of the people there, and he learns that Kevin and Grace left to go to a famous tourist spot. June happens to find a web cam site that has recordings of prior days. She is able to find the correct recording, and she spots Kevin and Grace. But she thinks that something looks off.

 

Something is really off, now that June is able to see a little bit more. Kevin was there. But that is not Grace! This is a major issue, and now it seems that Grace never even made it onto the flight to Columbia. June continues her sleuthing, and she finds out more disturbing facts about the background of Kevin.

 

She talks to the lawyer Heather to see if there is anything more that she knows. But there is something also hidden about the background of Grace. It is all off-limits due to a court order. This situation is spinning out of control, and it is about to get much worse!

 

“Missing” starts with the concept of the multiple device screens. That might sound like a cheap gimmick, but it never seems overused. It gives a real intimate feeling about what the daughter June is going through.  Storm Reid does a great job portraying someone who is at wits end about her Mom who has gone missing. Joaquim de Almeida is also really good as the person June has hired in a far away country.

 

The movie takes you deep into a fractured family situation, and slowly seeps out information – but it is done all online. By using screen views, and phone screens, news reports online, security camera footage, and even Ring camera live feeds – you get caught up with the details of situation. It moves quickly and with (mostly) a logical structure. Perhaps it is not as precise in the time-frame as the movie “Searching”, it gets your attention and keep you interest in the final outcome.

 

“Missing” gets a hold of a pretty wild situation, when a Mom goes missing. But the way that it goes about describing all the details, with a steady drip of new information – you learn the truth behind all the screens.

 

Missing

Screenplay and Directed by: Nick Johnson, Will Merrick
Story by: Sev Ohanian, Aneesh Chaganty
Starring: Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney, Nia Long
Music by: Julian Scherle
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date: January 20, 2023
Length: 111 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for some strong violence, language, teen drinking, and thematic material
Genre: Mystery

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tmc.io contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

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