From: William Ahearn ( williamahearn@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Dec 2007


Finally saw Gone, Baby, Gone and while I think Ben Affleck did a really good job of putting together a good cast and a nice look and feel to the film, I realized at the end of the film why I had stopped reading Dennis Lehane's PI series.

That may be a complement of sorts to Affleck in that he was true to the material (or so it seemed as this was the one book in the series that I didn't read). And the film plays true to the take on race and class in Lehane's Boston. What is lacking in the film is what is lacking in the original work: Characters and story.

Angie Gennaro always bothered me as a character because more than anything she was a plot device. First as the unattainable beautiful woman that needs to be saved and Patrick Kenzie just can't seem to do it and it adds that maudlin streak so many PIs rely on these days. The only reason Angie is in this movie is so that she can leave Patrick at the end. There is nothing else for her to do. She's more a clinging girlfriend than a partner. While I liked that Ben Affleck stripped Patrick of every PI movie cliche, that process didn't leave the actor with much to work with. That void needed to be filled.

So, if the characters aren't going to be the center of the film, the story better be and I just didn't buy this yarn at all. There is no way that I believe the Morgan Freeman character would steal someone's child after he had a child taken from him. Yes, there are people like that. But the film failed to create the necessary groundwork to make it credible. The same is true of the Ed Harris character. That barroom holdup scene was just ridiculous. He goes in there to kill someone and gets all chatty and then gets shot. I just didn't buy it. There really wasn't all that much at stake to justify him taking that chance. The plot just seemed so contrived -- with that convoluted scene at the quarry -- and it's too bad since the film had a lot going for it.

I came away from this flick hoping Ben Afflick continues to direct but the last thing this film accomplished was to get me to read Lehane's PI series again.

Looking forward to No Country For Old Men.


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