6/10 A loose sequel to the 2018 film “Searching”, this Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick directed follow up (they edited “Searching”) repeats some of the same plot points from the first film and connects to it when it really doesn’t need to but has a solid third act to thrill and excite viewers. While “Searching” took the found footage formula and mixed it with social media by having the entire film take place on screens (computers and cell phones), “Missing” isn’t as creative when it comes to that method but does up the game in other areas. While “Searching” was also seen via Skype calls (remember Skype before the China Virus made Zoom take over?) and text messages, “Missing” shows full scenes, only to zoom out and see that it is from a news broadcast which kind of felt like cheating but was also problematic in the sense that news broadcasts aren’t allowed to show certain graphic imagery like death and violence. Images are either blurred or they have to cut away before things get too messy. Half of the footage shown on the news here would never be allowed and felt like a way of getting away from the phone/computer screens, which is kind of the original appeal of the film. On the flip side of that coin though is that new apps are utilized as popular apps have changed (or new ones have been created) within the last five years since the first film. The editing with transitions between all of the apps/footage was impressive but it makes sense considering that the directors come from an editing background. The relationship that our protagonist June (Storm Reid) has with her mother Grace (Nia Long) is heartfelt and emotional, which is a huge strength of the film. While the daughter was missing in “Searching”, now the adult parent is the one missing which flips the script upside down. I did enjoy that change and how new technologies were utilized and as I stated previously, the third and final act which has the biggest reveals will have you on the edge of your seat. My only other big complaint was a subplot involving Javi (Joaquim de Almeida), a Columbian gig worker and how invested and integral he became in the plot by going above and beyond what would have likely happened in real life. I didn’t completely buy into how helpful he was, putting aside his need to work and make money to run all over the city for a stranger in America. In the end, if you enjoyed “Searching”, you will likely enjoy “Missing” as well but if the first film wasn’t your cup of tea, then you can go ahead and skip this one. I eagerly await the third entry “Absent” in five years followed by the final film in the franchise, “Unaccounted 4” ten years from now.

#LeftOnReid / #GoneGirl2 / #FallFromGrace / #TheInvisibleMom / #WhenTheyDontSeeUs / #JamesAndTheGiantSecurityBreach

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