The process of shrinking visuals on to small phone screens gets another shot at frame in Missing. Here we view on the big screen the small screens from phones and PC in a stand alone sequel to Searching from 2018.
From my review of Searching I offer the same quote: ‘The use of small screens, even when projected on a large screen limit the scope of the landscape and that diminishes what is a solid mystery movie. Missing also strangles the credibility of the script by an ending that should have been cut the film.
Storm Reid does quite well in the lead, beginning as a somewhat smug teen who is about to do what ever while mom is on vacation to a more serious looking and sound thinking mature family member as she searches for her missing mother who is on a vacation in Columbia.
The story dribbles out on the screen as June Allen (Storm Reid) franticly reaches out into fiber space to track and attempt to locate her mother, when mom fails to return from a romantic trip to the South American country.
The presentation of the clues on line does work quite well (if we can get over the narrowness of the little screen). June’s skill at reaching out on her phone, tracing conversation and viewing security camera angles from LA to Columbia moves well and holds our attention.
The other opposite hook of the script places the child in pursuit of a lost parent rather than others like Jack Lemmon in Missing (1982) reaching out for a lost child. That has some value as a bit of something new, and the rapid response from the cyber world to her slashingly quick strokes on her phone and PC keep attention on the screen for fear of missing a clue.
With a number of unexpected twists the story moves rather well until the last scenes which limit the effectiveness of the film.