Movie Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl 1Yes, Ben Affleck can act. That’s the burning question plenty of moviegoers were intent on finding out when seeing his latest flick, following the almost unanimous outrage that exploded from comic book nerds when it was announced that he was cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Dawn of Justice: Batman vs. Superman. Believe it or not, this is actually a damn fine film too.

All you really need to know (and will want to know, considering how much unexpected shit goes down) is that Affleck’s character Nick Dunne comes home one day to find his wife Amy missing, and the coffee table upturned and shattered. What follows is a media frenzy as fingers start to point to Nick, especially after he starts exhibiting a nonchalant attitude about the ordeal.

Gone Girl 2I’ve never read the book that the movie is based on, but I’ve heard many people who did read it say that this film is not only great as a movie itself, but also as an adaptation of a novel. It helps that the novel’s writer, Gillian Flynn, wrote the screenplay, but there have been other instances where a novelist wrote a screen adaptation of his or her own novel, and it somehow turned out drastically different from the source material. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one that comes to mind. Director David Fincher has had so many dark masterpieces over the years, it makes perfect sense that he was selected to add his brilliance to this.

The acting is great all around, including the beautiful Rosamund Pike as Amy, and Neil Patrick Harris as Desi, Amy’s old flame from high school who became obsessed with her over the years, making him a suspect in her disappearance. Yeah, everyone knows he’s gay in real life, but he also happens to be a great actor, and the fact that he convincingly played a womanizer on How I Met Your Mother for nine seasons certainly helped his credibility with this role. Another impressive performance came from Tyler Perry as Nick’s lawyer Tanner Bolt, who specializes in defending men who have been accused of murdering their wives. I’ve never seen any of Perry’s movies, so I was delighted to discover that he is capable of pulling off something other than dressing up like a fat old woman.

Gone Girl 3Anyone who has no faith in Ben Affleck’s acting ability clearly hasn’t seen him in films like Argo, The Town, and Hollywoodland. It is not surprising that in Gone Girl, he effectively emulates real life suspects like Scott Peterson. Does that guarantee Ben will be a great Batman? Not exactly. But it does give DC fanatics some hope.

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