Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Ben Affleck cowrote the screenplay for this film, and directs an impressive cast including his brother Casey, and other notables including Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan and Ed Harris in Gone Baby Gone. Unfortunately, this film runs short of steam prematurely.

The plot centers around the sudden disappearance of a young child, Amanda McCready (Madeline O'Brien). This is a detective type of movie, and in that formula, the police are generally inept, and they live up to thaat task. The child is gone, and after a few days, the trail is getting ice cold with no leads. Enter Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie (Hmm, I wonder why he got the job...), with his sidekick, Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) who are private detectives that use their street smarts of the inner city of Boston, and knowledge of the neighborhoods to pick up the scent of a trail. So far, this is kind of like a young Sherlock Holmes, and I was enjoying this film. The one exception to the inept police is Morgan Freeman's character, a Captain in the abducted child unit that lost his own daughter due to a murder, and he has had an exemplary career of doing what is right.

All of a sudden, around halfway through, the wheels fall off this train, and we come to a screeching halt. The characters get confusing, and things start to get implausible. How did they end up in the middle of that drug bust? And why when Casey Affleck's character shoots an unarmed man, do the police cover the whole thing up, even if he was guilty? Since when do PI's become the judge, jury and executioner, and the police go along with it? And at the end, the outcome of all of this, which I will restrain myself from giving away, makes equally no sense that no neighbors would have called the police.

Anyway, Gone Baby Gone is a well acted film, and flies well for the first half, but like a hypoglycemic marathoner, simply runs out of steam, and can't go the distance. While some interesting issues of absolute vs relative morality get raised, the whole thing is framed out of ridiculousness, so it's just not that relevant.

Overall Grade: B--

Reviewed by Jonas

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