By Greer Guercio (Atlanta, Ga)
(Take this with a grain of salt, as it’s my first impression and I’m hopelessly cynical)
While the movie provided all the twists and turns you’d expect from a thriller, it moved far too slowly to build any sustainable suspense. Affleck did a solid acting job; his character was both believable and stable. Pike, on the other hand, has one of the most monotonous acting styles since Selma Blair (but I’ll forgive her, and hope that’s what she was going for with her character). Neil Patrick Harris was a creepier Barney Stinson, in my opinion, and could have been left out of the movie, entirely…though I’m sure he plays a larger role in the book (I’ve yet to read it).
The characters’ dynamics, realistic (even charming) dialogue, and the general plot development were worth the price of the movie ticket. Though I found the actual story-telling a bit muddled and tedious, I can appreciate how such ploys were used for the film: it played well for the audience, mirroring and instigating an array of emotions throughout.
That being said, if you want a movie with interesting cinematic tactics, developing characters, palpable suspense, compelling aesthetics, and the overall “WTF” feel of a good thriller…stay at home and watch Antichrist, starring Willem Dafoe. However, if you’re looking for a two-and-a-half hour long Hollywood critique of the manipulative and, ultimately, destructive tactics of national media, Gone Girl is for you.
TL;DR I give Gone Girl one thumb up.