The Missing (2003)
Directed by Ron Howard
Writing credits Ken Kaufman
Tommy Lee Jones .... Samuel Jones a.k.a Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan
Cate Blanchett .... Maggie Gilkeson
Evan Rachel Wood .... Lilly Gilkeson
Jenna Boyd .... Dot Gilkeson
Aaron Eckhart.... Brake Baldwin
Val Kilmer .... Lt. Jim Ducharme
Cate Blanchett is Dr Quinn at her little house on the prairie. Tommy Lee Jones is her surly father who wants to make up with her on the advice of his witch doctor. Speaking of mysticism, a gang of Indians led by a Medicine Man kidnaps one of Cate's daughters. The daughter is "The Missing". Blanchett and Jones go searching for her. They are "The Searchers".
First, let me say that the missing girl was not worth saving. That's the first strike against "The Missing". She was annoying and stupid. Two people were killed because of her idiocy. She did not endear herself to me. She could stay missing.
But Blanchett and Jones seemed to like her so they rode on after her. I sat there wondering what their plan was to get this girl back from the Indians. I thought, "How would Clint Eastwood have handled this?" I'm certain Clint wouldn't have brought a little girl with him nor would he have wasted two seconds trying to buy the girl back. Jones was a man of inaction. He's bargaining with the Indians? "Please Medicine Man; Can I have my kidnapped granddaughter back? Pretty please?" Yeesh. Sickening. Clint would have wasted all of them and taken the prettiest girl for himself.
So there is something missing from "The Missing". Let's see, how about characters you care about, action set pieces that are exciting, etc. However, they did manage to make the Indians appropriately mean and brutal. They were professional slave traders. There could have been a good exploitative western here but instead we get Grandpa Jones and his inept battle plan.
SCORE: 2 out of 4 missing brats