Neil Young’s Film Lounge – The Missing

Published on: March 23rd, 2004

THE MISSING

5/10

USA 2003 : Ron HOWARD : 137 mins

New Mexico, 1885. Cowboys vs (bestial) Indians – an old-school, pre-PC division/opposition. It’s The Searchers, kind of. Last of the Mohicans, ish. Lame concessions to PC: some injuns are nice, some whiteys are perfidious. Cate Blanchett as a frontier saint, hard-voiced. Stymied by unhelpful male officialdom. Tommy Lee Jones’s high, light voice (will grate on yr nerves). Mystical elements: feuding magic (laughable). TLJ asks an eagle a favour. Eagle obliges. Eagle’s shadow (laughable). Magic out of place in otherwise “realist western” piece. Solid, old-fashioned production, based on book. Typical Ron Howard: square as a die. Repetitive structure of peril/rescue/peril. Wannabe-epic (Cold Mountain, Last Samurai): must be something in the air. Supposedly Oscar bait. Flopped badly.

27th April, 2004
(seen 25th January : Cineworld, Milton Keynes CinemaDays event)

by Neil Young