the missing | remake | the searchers | ron howard | ken kaufman | tommy lee jones | cate blanchett | evan rachel wood | adventure | thriller | western | united states | history | jenna boyd | aaron eckhart | val kilmer | witch
Film: The Missing
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Ken Kaufman
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett and Evan Rachel Wood
This film takes place out West back in the wild times. We have a family where the mother is played by Cate Blanchett. She’s a doctor and we see her early on help a woman with infected tooth and gums. Her eldest daughter is played by Evan Rachel Wood and there’s tension between the two. Wood wants to go into the town and see the fair, but Blanchett won’t let her because of work needed to be done. We also learn later why there is more tension between them. Blanchett also gives a room to a lawman, played by Aaron Eckhart, and they’re also lovers.
One day, a man comes to her house. He looks like a Native American, but he’s really a white man who has been living with them, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Eckhart treats him with some respect, but also some distrust. That night, when sitting down to dinner Jones comes into the house and we learn he is Blanchett’s father and she despises him for leaving her and her mother. He goes on his way the next day.
Eckhart, Wood, Blanchett’s other daughter and another man go out to work with the cattle, but when they don’t return, Blanchett knows something is wrong. She finds that they were ambushed. The other man is dead, as well as Eckhart and Blanchett finds her youngest daughter. Wood has been kidnapped.
Blanchett goes into town and tells the mayor what has happened, but he does nothing when he gets a message that the army will handle it. With Jones, Blanchett and her youngest follow the trail for Wood. It turns out though, she has been kidnapped by a Native American ‘wizard’ who can causes curses and other bad things to happen. Can they catch him before they get to Mexico? Will she be able to save her daughter?
This film was really good. Jones and Blanchett where great in there roles and I also really liked the bad guy, who was played by Eric Schweig. The character he played was really creepy and came off as evil.
The other part of this film was how racist it is. Not in the sense that Ron Howard, who directed, or Ken Kaufman, who wrote it, went out of their way to portray anyone out of context, but that you have Native Americans who tries to be ‘white’ by serving in the army, but they’re treated horrible still and talked down to. You have Jones who tries to be Native American, but treated bad by both sides. Even Schweig, who it turns out, was attacked and mistreated by Caucasians, does what he does in a sense of revenge. You see it throughout the film and it makes you realize the actions and things we do have repercussions.
I am adding this film to the horror film research due to the fact that there are a lot of elements and situations that are quite scary. The first is that Wood was kidnapped and being held against her will. We have the Native American ‘wizard’ who puts ‘curses’ on people. They turn out not to be really true, but Jones believes it and some of the things he does can manifest on the person he curses though, but for natural reasons. It would also be scary to live in these times and to have something like a kidnapping occur. It can be at times hard to find someone in modern times with all the technology we have to find them.
I would highly recommend this one. If you like westerns, this one is a must see. If you want to just see a really good film with some great acting, I would recommend it. It shows what people can do when they’re pushed up against the wall and have to do something. This film is actually also a retelling of the John Wayne film ‘The Searchers’. I feel that this film is above average, but definitely well made.
My Rating: 7 out of 10