WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A cutesy couple on vacation stop off at a road-side gas station, where the female end of their two-some, suddenly disappears without a trace. The boyfriend loses it and three years down the road, continues to search for his long-lost love. That's when he meets a new girl, with whom he hooks up, not long after which, he is approached by the actual abductor with a possible resolution to his continued obsession with his ex-girlfriend's disappearance.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
A pretty damn decent thriller, if I don't say so myself. I know this film is based on the original Dutch SPOORLOOS (aka THE VANISHING) directed by the same man (George Sluizer), and I know many have said that movie is much better, but I haven't seen that film, so I'm basing my thoughts on this one alone, and for what it is, this movie was pretty tense, offered a great, sympathetic lead in Kiefer Sutherland, an excellent creepy bad guy in Jeff Bridges, and a twist on the more typical genre turns, as the killer is almost as intrigued by the victim's boyfriend, as the other way around. Sandy Bullock also has a small part in this movie, as the original girlfriend who gets abducted and comes off as cute as ever.
Sutherland is the key to the proceedings though, and his intense, narrow-minded, obsessive search for his ex-girlfriend is what kept me going most of the way. I also couldn't turn away every time Bridges' weirdo character showed up on-screen, particularly in some of the earlier scenes in which he's "practicing" (the pseudo-Dutch accent also helped) Granted, the film's final 15 minutes isn't as effective as the less slashery stuff that came before it (and felt a touch contrived), but to be honest, I appreciated the way things ended, especially since I was pretty well invested in the characters at that point. This film offers the perfect "this could happen to you" circumstance to which any couple could relate, so rent it with your girlfriend and cuddle up as the folks on-screen go to hell and back. Yeah, it's the perfect Valentine's Day movie...not.
Other than the film's lame-o Trailer (gives too much away and makes it look like your "typical" thriller), nada.
Again, it's to note that I haven't seen the original film on which this one is based, so spare me the "the original is better" crap, but on its own, THE VANISHING is a taut thriller dealing with a believable circumstance, an affable lead character, a love story and a loony-toon bad guy, all tossed into one. Bridges' hair offers yet another great "supporting" performance here and despite not having any extras, might even be worth buying for anyone who digs watching thrillers over and over and over again (yeah, I'm that guy).