Cate Blanchett is rearing her two daughters in 19th-Century New Mexico. The youngest isa pleasant tomboy, the eldest is a whiny young woman who wants fine things (they seem to havebeen lifted straight from Mildred Pierce). Appearing at their home one day is TommyLee Jones, Blanchett’s father who walked out when she was a little girl. The stiff, unforgivingBlanchett wants nothing to do with him, until her eldest daughter is kidnapped by a roving bandwho sell women into prosti…ution in Mexico. Jones and Blanchett set off on a rescue mission.Their adversary is a powerful Native American Brujo, and our heroes will be up againstmagic as well as bullets on their quest.
The horror and supernatural elements, heavily played up in the trailer, actually have a fairlysmall role to play in the actual film, and given how unimaginatively they are deployed (theduelling mystical chants we see every single time a battle of this kind takes place), this is just aswell. Jones’ encounter with his spirit animal is also painfully ludicrous. The chase does generatea modicum of suspense, however (even if, again, there is really nothing new in any of this), andthe landscapes are beautifully photographed. An okay Western, then, though it takes rather toolong to set its plot in motion.
The 5.1 track has some very nice placement of sound effects (notably animal calls), and thereare very nice, atmospheric wind sounds. Generally, the environmental effects are rather low key,and could perhaps have been boosted a bit. The sound is very clean, though, and there is neverany distortion on the dialogue.
The single disc edition is fullscreen, and the cropping really hurts the film, ruining thepanoramic shots, and making other compositions appear excessively cramped. At times, theaction becomes hard to follow as well. The colours are gorgeous, though, and show awonderfully varied palette. The image is sharp, has no grain (except in one night scene, where thered breaks up into grain), and has fine flesh tones and blacks. The layer transition is awkwardlyplaced.
Nothing but some 10 trailers. The menu’s main screen and intro are animated andscored.
Not a patch on the classic Westerns the film emulates, The Missing is still pretty tolook at (though the fullscreen treatment is horrible), and reasonably entertaining.
Special Features List