David Fincher doesn’t do bad movies, what with Fight Club, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Se7en, Zodiac and, for those that liked it, Benjamin Button under his belt
Of late, neither does Gone Girl’s star, Ben Affleck (Argo was awesome, although I’m not so sure how good I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meathook, and Now I Have a Three Picture Deal at Disney was).
So it was no real surprise that Gone Girl really does live up to its hype.
I’ve not read the book but I’m reliably informed that it’s very true to it (perhaps not surprising given that the screenplay was by the novel’s author, Gillian Flynn).
I’m not going to spoil the plot here because it’s very much plot driven with more twists than Chubby Checker, but in my opinion it’s a right riveting two and a half hours; yes two and a half hours!
Essentially it’s a did he (Affleck) didn’t he, murder his wife vehicle in which the possible killer’s motives and evidence veer massively from ‘of course he didn’t’ to ‘of course he did’ and back again several times.
The action unfolds in four acts, each slowly releasing its story before you hit a “did that just really happen?” moment. And Fincher is the perfect guy to handle this as a proven master of plot development. The result is that you are slowly but surely drawn deeper and deeper into its labyrinthine construct as the movie progresses.
The supporting cast is led by Rosamund Pike who, as the Gone Girl, gets a lot of screen time but fails to clear the bar set by Affleck. There’s something miscast about her, she just isn’t all that attractive as a person – that would be my only real criticism of the film.
Aside from her there’s affecting performances by Carrie Coon as Nick’s (Affleck’s) twin sister and Kim Dickens as the main investigating cop (a bit of a nod to Frances McDormand in Fargo in the way she plays it). Tyler Perry plays a neat part as the defence lawyer although it’s a relatively small part.
I really liked this movie. Although whether it retains its place in IMDB’s top 80 movies of all time for long remains to be seen.