Goner—Trying to Parse Gone Baby Gone

Finally caught up with Gone Baby Gone. Nice to see two members of the cast of The Wire (Amy Ryan and Michael K. Williams) working, but Casey Affleck-less just can’t carry a movie. So, what are we to make of a baby-faced wannabe gumshoe and his Nancy Drew assistant (Michelle Monaghan looking like Valerie Bertinelli) walking the mean streets of Boston? The idea that Affleck’s character could cold-cock some hulking brute in a bar with one punch was laughable. But that plot (Spoiler alert!). Let’s see, the distinguished 30-year veteran of the police force (Morgan Freeman) conspires with a corrupt transplanted Cajun (why? nothing was made of this factoid but his Frenchified name) officer and some reformed alcoholic whose niece is a lowlife junkie to kidnap the junkie’s child and rip off a local transplanted Haitian drug dealer so that Freeman’s character can resign in disgrace from the force (with half his pension) and go live in a woodsy cabin with the kidnapped child (who everyone is supposed to think has died) as a substitute for the child he lost and couldn’t save years ago. Why did the drug dealer agree to an exchange when he had nothing to exchange? How was it possible for Ed Harris’ character to take two through the chest bullets (we saw the gun from behind and the blood blow out the front) and then stagger out of a bar, across several intersections and climb to the roof of another building before finally dying. There are more holes in this plot than in Rudy Giuliani’s primary-campaign strategy.

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