Saturday 23 March 2024

Movie Review: Last Seen Alive (2022)

Genre: Action Mystery Thriller  
Director: Brian Goodman  
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jaimie Alexander, Russell Hornsby  
Running Time: 95 minutes  

Synopsis: New England married couple Will and Lisa (Gerard Butler and Jaimie Alexander) are navigating relationship troubles while driving to her parents' house in Emerson, New Jersey. At a gas stop, Lisa goes into the store then disappears. A frantic Will calls the police and Detective Paterson (Russell Hornsby) responds. The gas station clerk Oscar appears to have something to hide, and surveillance video reveals Lisa was lured towards a car. Despite the scarcity of clues, Will is determined to find his missing wife.

What Works Well: This is a straightforward action-packed but still engaging thriller, with enough quality to overcome the obvious plotting. Gerard Butler effortlessly carries the acting load and springs into the necessary heroics on cue. The bad guys consist of riffraff coagulating at an edge-of-town compound modeled upon zombie encampments, the perfect setting for a husband to vent his mid-life frustrations and deploy big explosions to stop a marriage's sideways drift.

What Does Not Work As Well: There is almost nothing here that has not been seen before in other movies. The master villains are barely defined and the crime motivations remain abstract. A couple of scenes with Lisa's parents (including Bruce Altman as her father) are almost comically inept.

Conclusion: This Butler is bold, brash, and basic.

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