When private detective John Rosow is secretly hired to follow a man from Chicago to Los Angeles, the job couldn't be more cut and dry. However, soon after he makes his first contact, his mission changes. Now, he must bring his subject back to New York City where his wife anxiously awaits his return; the reward: a hefty half million dollars. But as Rosow works to complete his assignment, he comes into contact with a series of interesting, unique characters. Through them, he begins to piece together the life of the missing middle-aged man, discovering a little something about himself in the process.
Starring newly added Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, The Missing Person had the capability to be a solid, unique, edge of your seat thriller. Sadly, none of these qualities ever showed themselves. Instead, audiences are greeted with an old, run down tale that couldn't be more opposite with its title.
The film, which features a slew of talented stars, veers off the road with its story. Supposedly dealing with a missing person, the 'subject' in question is 'captured' within the film's first 30 minutes. The intensity and adrenaline that could have been created quickly goes mute as neither becomes a factor in the overall presence of the picture.
Then, as if they hadn't forced enough, director/screenwriter Noah Buschel decided to implement the occurrences of September 11, 2001 into the story. Out of nowhere comes this sudden impeding point, creating a sudden disparity between the time frame that we believe we are in and the time frame that we are actually in.
The colors, direction style and landscapes call for an early 1960s setting, something that is emphasized by using a train as the means for transportation. But now, amidst the sudden mention of 9/11, audiences must fast forward to a time where technology and an unlimited number of resources are readily available; thus making you wonder just why a man is shadowing another in such dire ways.
Tack on a disjointed performance by both Michael Shannon and Amy Ryan and this film, which possessed so much poise and promise, falls flat on its face, becoming one of the most disappointing showcases of the entire festival.