Lifetime movies are meant to be heart wrenching in the most simplistic way, but Gone is far too complicated for a made-for-television movie. When I snuggle up on the couch with a good old-fashioned Lifetime movie, I have certain expectations. Sadly, Gone did not fulfill my desires. It’s not based on a shocking true story, it’s not sexy, and it didn’t make me cry. It only made me miss those cold winter nights when a Lifetime movie is all a lady needs.
Nurse Amy Kettering (Molly Parker) is a broken woman. Haunted by a terrifying attack from her past, Amy drifts through life, a shell of her former self. This attack three years early let to the demise of her marriage, and her husband David has recently filed for sole custody in their daughter Emily. When Emily is kidnapped, Amy is informed that the only way she’ll see her daughter again is if she kills a mystery patient in her hospital ward.
Of course, any mother would do anything to protect her child, so Amy immediately runs to the hospital to carry out her instructions. Things go awry, however, when the victim wakes up, informing Amy of a scandal that goes deeper than she could have imagined. You know, involving, cops, government conspiracy and a missing flu vaccine. Really the scandal isn’t that impressive, it’s merely the catalyst for an elaborate plan that enables one woman to save her daughter, and herself.
After being attacked by an assassin in the hospital, Amy follows clues left by her attacker in the hopes of finding her daughter. She decides to take matters into her own hands, leading the police, and her family, astray and seeking out Emily on her own. When the kidnappers discover that Amy is onto them, they’ll do anything in their power to stop her. Blackmail, murder and scandal abound, all played out by a lackluster cast of characters doing their best to act tough.
David, Amy’s husband, is played by Lochlyn Munro, one of those guys you see as a guest on every single prime-time television show, but have no idea who he is. There’s a reason for that. He, and everyone else in the film, is a terrible actor. Not one person is convincing. I could do just as good of a job wallowing in self-pity, acting scared and crying a lot on screen as these actors do. Natasha Calis, the young girl who plays Emily, may be the strongest actor on screen. While she doesn’t appear for more than a few minutes in all, she holds her own and is the only character who catches the viewer’s attention. We want her to be saved, but we don’t really care who it’s by. Obviously the mom is going to save the day, but Amy is so unlikeable, it’s hard to root for her. Molly Parker is terrible as Amy. She is meant to be a woman in despair after a devastating experience whose spirit is resurrected through her struggle to save her daughter. She comes across, however, as weak and confused with a blank stare throughout the entire movie. She never seems the strong woman she is supposed to become in the face of danger.
The plot of the movie is so convoluted, it’s easy to imagine a room full of writers throwing ideas out and piecing together a patchwork story in which to place this battered woman. Everything about the movie is weak, however. In general, Lifetime movies are meant to suck you in, whether you like it or not, but Gone fails to do so. It’s a disappointment, as far as Lifetime movies go, so skip Gone and wait for a rerun of the far superior Craigslist Killer.
DVD Bonus Features
No Bonus Features, only a “Scene Selection” tab on the main menu.
"Gone" is on sale August 16, 2011 and is not rated. Action, Drama. Directed by Grant Harvey. Written by Ron Oliver. Starring Lochlyn Munro, Molly Parker, Sonja Bennett.