“Gone Girl,” starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike (a Bond girl in “Die Another Day”) doesn’t disappoint in that category. The plot snakes its way through the depravity of human character, where the supposed ‘good guys’ aren’t really, and we wind up hating ourselves for cheering for several characters we should — by all rights — seriously dislike.
Author Gillian Flynn wrote the book and the screenplay, and Fincher delivers a suitably somber and tense film that leaves viewers trying to figure out what happened, and then why.
For the most part, the cast is outstanding, including a dramatic turn by Neil Patrick Harris, whose character and its motives remains a mystery throughout. At first, Affleck comes off a bit wooden, but as the film progresses, it became apparent that the portrayal fit the character of Nick Dunne perfectly. Rosamund Pike does an exceptional job as the missing wife, Amy Dunne. You’ll have to see the film to realize just why her performance is so exceptional, but trust me — she’s great.
But the film’s real standouts are Tyler Perry and Missi Pyle (“Soul Plane”). I’ve seen a bit of Tyler Perry’s work, but until now, I’ve not been that impressed with his acting. Here, Perry is just fantastic as a smart, tough defense lawyer who isn’t at all the kind of scumbag that television talking head Ellen Abbot (Pyle) makes him out to be. Pyle’s Ellen Abbott is such a clear take-off on Nancy Grace that Grace could probably win a trademark infringement claim.
Sadly, the film’s ending doesn’t live up to the first two hours we spent getting there. After building an incredible amount of suspense, then throwing in a few shock and surprise bombs, Fincher and Flynn leave us hanging. It’s a frustrating end to what would otherwise have been an outstanding film from start to finish.