By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
One night David Kim’s (John Cho) daughter Margot goes missing and David begins to use her social media accounts to piece together what happened to her. Telling this story solely through computer screens is a choice that could easily be construed as cliché, but they instead use this to dictate the film in more of a documentary format rather than just a movie. It’s a highly compelling story that will keep you engaged until the final moments.
There is a reason news stories like this capture a nation’s attention; they are inherently compelling. The thought that anything can happen to anyone. “I’m a good person, nothing like that could ever happen to me”… but it can. Now in the internet age everyone can see the stories, everyone can formulate opinions, everyone can post whatever they’re thinking online to fuel the fire and keep the story relevant, even if 90% is speculation and theories.
The decision to film through only computer screens was a genius move for this story. Because stories like this (a nice teenage girl goes missing, wait that could’ve been any one of us) are inherently compelling, to use computer screens as the lens through which this story is told makes it feel so real that you’re sucked in from minute one, it’s like you’re on your 5th beer and can’t go to sleep because you can’t stop reading about this poor girl and her distraught father, every clickbait “article” on every news article website. It works where other films like that new Unfriended movie don’t because this one doesn’t use the computer screen as a gimmick and instead uses it to enhance the story. It’s like one of those rare well-made found footage films. Plus, those opening five minutes rival Up‘s and I was not ready for that, NOT COOL!
The acting is quite strong in this film, anchored by very a strong John Cho. Most of the film is following him on different computer screens so most of the film is on his shoulders. It’s a quiet and understated performance; a story like this he could’ve been way over-the-top in, but Cho’s performance feels real and only makes the movie better. The entire cast is great except for Debra Messing.
It’s not necessarily a bad performance, but there was something off about the daughter’s acting. It really just felt flat. Also, I thought this was going to be more like The Game where I had about 4 different thoughts as to what could happen, but had no idea what was going to happen. This you’ll see coming you just have to pay attention to the foreshadowing.
I didn’t see the exact ending happening, but I saw enough of it from foreshadowing. It doesn’t ruin the entire movie and this was better than I was expecting. If you have the time you should definitely check this one out, because I have a feeling this one is going to come and go in the theaters.
Searching (2018) Movie Review
Take a Drink: for every FaceTime call.
Do a Shot: every time new evidence is uncovered.
Do a Shot: every time John Cho discovers a new social media platform.
Finish your Drink: for those first five minutes; it’s ok, just cry it out.