"Oh no girl, don't do it!"
My wife and I looked over at the person sitting next to us in the theatre, an expression of shock and disgust on our faces. Besides destroying our movie-going experience, this idiotic person clearly missed the whole point of the climax of the wonderful new film, "Gone Baby Gone".
I'll come back to this, but first let me say that if you go see "Gone Baby Gone" and manage not to find yourself sitting beside a really stupid "movie yeller", and you also manage to not sit in front of an older woman who constantly kicks your stadium seat, this is a thoroughly enjoyable film (I only mention that the woman behind me was older because she really, really should have known better, as compared to some fifteen-year-old punk who thinks it's funny).
Adapted from the superb book of the same title by Dennis Lehane, the film stars the impressive Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie, a local Boston PI who is hired by the distraught aunt and uncle (Amy Madigan and Titus Welliver) of a kidnapped girl to join the police investigation. Riding shotgun with Kenzie is his girlfriend, Angie Gennaro, played by a rather limp Michelle Moynahan. Angie is hesitant to take the case because she predicts an unhappy ending, but Patrick remembers the girl's mother (Helene, played by an awesome Amy Ryan) from growing up, and thinks he might be able to help.
The two eventually sign up and are teamed up with two condescending police officers (scene chewing Ed Harris and the under-appreciated John Ashton, of Beverly Hills Cop fame) by police chief Jack Doyle (an overacting Morgan Freeman), and using Patrick's neighborhood connections the kidnapping comes to a quick climax. But not everything is how it seems, and since he's a perfectly drawn noir detective, Patrick is simply too stubborn to let things go.
Though there are some problems that arise with the transition of the book to film, director Ben Affleck does a wonderful job of recreating Lehane's world, a place where nothing is black and white. And this brings me back to the climax, and that stupid movie yeller sitting next to me. There are some choices we make that can't be classified by right or wrong. Some decisions you just make, and then live with for the rest of your life. And unless you're George Bush or the woman sitting next to me in the theatre, the choice is not an easy one.
Exploring the gray that inhabits us all, "Gone Baby Gone" is a definite hit that I guarantee you'll talk about for days after, and Casey Affleck is a star in the making.