THE MISSING (Independent 2003 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Missing—well cast with Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett—reminds us that Hollywood can still make a good western movie, at least, as long as the Director is Ron Howard. Even though it is an old storyline—American girls kidnapped by slave traders to sell in Mexico—Howard makes the script fresh and new with top-of-the-line supernatural native American medicine/witch doctor scenes coupled with some very believable slave trader scenes perfectly spiced with the drama of a Caucasian man who abandoned his family to run with Native Americans and his attempts to reconcile with his self-taught doctor/healer daughter. The dialogue is good, timing great, musical scores well-placed. It lost major dollars at the box office; but now that western movies are coming back in vogue, the film is a great ‘new’ pick for western fans who missed it on its first theater release.

Storyline

Maggie Gilkeson (Cate Blanchett) sets out to retrieve her eldest daughter, Lilly Gilkeson (Evan Rachel Wood), who has been kidnapped by slave traders heading to Mexico under the leadership of slave boss Pesh-Chidin, also known as El Brujo (Eric Schweig), a very talented witch doctor. Her estranged father, Samuel Jones (Tommy Lee Jones), accompanies her and proves invaluable in the retrieval of her daughter.

Additional Thanks

Great Work for Director and Producer Ron Howard. Thank you to Executive Producers Steve Crystal and Todd Hallowell for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Brake Baldwin (Aaron Eckhart), Dot Gilkeson (Jenna Boyd), Lt. Jim Ducharme (Val Kilmer), Emiliano (Sergio Calderón), Two Stone (Steve Reevis), Kayitah (Jay Tavare), Honesco ‘Kayita Son’ (Simon Baker), Russel J. Wittick (Ray McKinnon), Isaac Edgerly (Max Perlich), Grummond (Ramon Frank), and Naazhaao/‘Hunter’ (Deryle J. Lujan).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. For the western movie fan, it’s a rare and good pick with an outstanding cast, good action, and edgy adventure.

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Ben Meyers

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