November 26, 2003
The Missing is based on the novel "The Last Ride" by Thomas Eidson (no relation to the Wizard of Menlo Park). The story tells the tale of Samuel Jones (Tommy Lee Jones), a 19th century New Mexico man who did the Old Southwest version of "going out for cigarettes" by abandoning his wife and young daughter to go live with the Apache Indians. As you do. Many moons later, Jones finally runs out of peyote and decides to try to reconcile with his family, only to discover his wife has been dead for years and his daugther Maggie (Cate Blanchett) has some massive resentment and abandonment issues towards him. Maggie is married with two young daughters until a marauding band of Army deserters attacks the family homestead, kidnapping the eldest daughter, Lily (Evan Rachel Wood of Thirteen), and doing some grevious bodily harm to Maggie's husband (played by everyone's favorite babysitting Hell's Angel, Aaron Eckhart).
Maggie and her father must set aside their differences to rescue Lily before the bad, bad men make it to Mexico, where our non-wacky, non-buddy, non-cop heroes fear that the gang will disappear into the foreign landscape with Lily and the other teenage girls they've been abducting in their course of their cross country crime spree. (Perhaps the kidnappers plan to sneak across the border disguised as a Girls Gone Wild production crew.) Just to add to the general crazy fun, the lead baddy, Chidin (Eric Schweig) is apparently both psychopathetic (natch) *and* a mystic. So it's Ransom meets Lethal Weapon meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas!
Tommy Lee Jones has had a bit of a tough go of it lately, with his last few films returning disappointing results on both critical and box office fronts. In fact, the poor little fella is probably still too depressed to ride his polo ponies over his 4,000 acre Texas ranch after we at BOP voted Men in Black 2 the Worst Movie of 2003. Cate Blanchett has also had her share of underperforming movies of late (Lord of the Rings franchise aside), although she remains quite the Hollywood darling. Both are hoping that the magic touch of Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment can repeat the success of A Beautiful Mind.
The film will have a limited run beginning on November 19, 2003 in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, followed by a wide release on November 26. (Jennifer Turnock/BOP)
Comparison films for The Missing
|Beautiful Mind, A
|Dances With Wolves