Starring: Storm Reid, Nia Long, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney, Megan Suri, Tim Griffin
Directors: Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick
Missing ran the risk of being a lesser version of its predecessor, Searching, but its thrilling script and captivating leads quickly proved it to be an entertainingly distinctive sequel. The mystery as a whole is somewhat predictable, but only in hindsight, as the twists keep you focused on unraveling it alongside the characters in the present moment. Storm Reid carries the emotional weight of the film, but it’s her chemistry with standout Joaquim de Almeida that make both the heart and tension unique. If subsequent smart-device films are as gripping as Missing, I’ll be in the theater every single time.
Missing may be the film that kicks off 2023 in earnest. It’s a taut thriller that is well acted but even more impressively directed by Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick, and the inventiveness that went into telling the story is a testament to their creativity. It’s a well-crafted story from a tight script that manages to weave in a number of surprises that don't feel cliché, demanding the audience pay attention to every detail. If you're itching to catch a movie in theaters but are hesitant due to the abysmal track record of January releases, this is one you won’t want to miss.
Missing may not be as clean-cut or succinct as Searching, but it remains a worthy successor nonetheless. Missing persons films fit exceedingly well into these formats, and the trick has worked once more, this time thanks to an assured performance from Storm Reid. That said, there are issues with the film, namely that the underlying themes don't really get developed enough to feel like a genuine statement, but luckily, they’re overshadowed by an intriguing plot and a twist I honestly didn't see coming. If a third film also succeeds, we may have ourselves a solid "screen-cap trilogy."