Missing Review

Monday 24 April 2023

Plot: After her mother goes missing, a young woman tries to find her from home, using tools available to her online.

Film: Missing

Director: Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick

Writers: Will Merrick, Nicholas D. Johnson, Sev Ohanian

Starring: Storm Reid, Nia Long, Ken Leung, Megan Suri

Missing centres around teenager June (Storm Reid) who finds herself caught in a media frenzy when her mother Grace (Nia Long), disappears following a trip to Columbia with her boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung), neither of whom returned home when they said they would. 

Missing follows exactly the same format as Searching, and while not a direct sequel, the film starring Jon Cho is referenced in the introduction to this instalment. Searching was one of my top watches of 2018 and that was due to the super unique nature of it. The whole film is set on a computer desktop and the characters use the tools available online to try and track down their loved ones. 

As an actor it this means that for almost the entire film, the audience is watching your face in a mid to close up view, putting a lot of pressure on the subtle acting choices as well as big reactions. Storm Reid did a fantastic job at conveying frustration, anger and even grief throughout the film, I couldn’t fault the casting here at all. It’s also an excellent metaphor for anyone who has had to go through losing someone in the public eye, everything June and her mother had ever shared online was scrutinised on social media and while there are so many tools available to you online to help find someone who is missing, there is also that dark side to having that presence. 

I’m someone who loves technology and for years I’ve had a fascination with shows like Catfish and the Netflix docuseries The Tinder Swindler, which uses your online fingerprint to try and unmask online scammers and teaches the everyday person what to look out for, Missing and Searching both do this too in a more sensational way. Hiring a TaskRabbit worker (think Uber but for running errands) to go and collect CCTV for you in another country for example, something a lot of us would have never thought of, I’m sure. Sidenote here is that Javi (Joaquim de Almeida) the ‘Go Ninja’ worker was my favourite character aside from June, he was brilliant. 

I won’t spoil the ending but much like Searching, the answers to the puzzle that is this film are hidden quite early on and it was extremely satisfying when it all came together the way it did, and I will be going back to watch it a second time and see if there was anything else I missed. There’s still a lot of twists and turns along the way, which makes this a great mystery thriller, anyone who enjoys a gritty crime series will enjoy this one and while I always recommend you watch films on the big screen with no distractions, this is one of those films that will look great on your laptop via streaming in a few months. 

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