The Missing (2003)

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When the daughter of a frontierswoman is kidnapped by slave traders, she enlists the help of her estranged father to track them down.

The Missing starts well enough with the usual striking panoramas and spit and dust grittiness of the post Leone western and a stand out cast fill the screen with their formidable presence. Unfortunately Ron Howard’s soulless direction means that the plot stutters and stalls from one clod-hopping set piece to another as the long, drawn out chase leads to a smattering of nearly-but-not-quite action sequences that never really have a chance to get going, while the girls scream and get themselves into trouble at regular intervals to provide some inadequate “suspense”. The occasional brushes with native American voodoo just seem out of place and vaguely absurd and the whole thing just seems a lot less than the sum of its parts.

The presence of Cate Blanchett, Tommy Lee Jones and AAron Eckhart mean that there is usually someone on screen worth watching, but as a whole The Missing is really rather dull.

5/10

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