Monday, June 23, 2008

Movies: Gone Baby Gone

It's sometimes hard to explain the difference between "Good" and "Lawful Good" to a Dungeons and Dragons neophyte, but I think "Gone Baby Gone" is a great way to do it. The ending features a moral quandary that neatly encapsulates the conflict - do we do things within the system, or without, and on whose authority? Of course, the Affleck name has been poisonous in Hollywood for some time now (Gigli will do that to anyone), but "Gone Baby Gone" is an extremely solid directorial debut from Ben Affleck:



It's a crime mystery about the abduction of a little girl in a Boston neighborhood. The distraught family hires private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, played by Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan, respectively. From there, the plot twists and spins as things turn out, inevitably, to be more complicated than they were at first glance.

There's a good performance here from Ben's brother Casey Affleck, whose star is rapidly rising. But the real star is Boston - the movie revels in its attention to its setting. The main bugaboo here is the farfetched leaps and suspensions of disbelief that the script requires of the viewer, but other than that, it's an enjoyable flick. I still wonder if Ben Affleck can work with material from outside his comfort zone, but if he can develop his skills, I think he could really become a great director.

Rating: 8/10

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