Film Review: Come and Find MeZack Whedon’s missing person thriller starts out slow but showcases fine acting by Aaron Paul and his irresistible chemistry with Annabelle Wallis.
Possibly one of the most confounding things that can happen to a person is having someone important in their life mysteriously vanish without a trace. Thankfully, it’s not something that happens frequently except in movies, where that idea has been the basis for many great thrillers.
Zack Whedon, brother to Joss and Jed Whedon and writer on TV shows like “Halt and Catch Fire” and “Southland,” puts a twist on the missing person thriller with Come and Find Me, which starts out relatively slow but then gets more interesting and even exciting as it builds to its last-act climax.
In the opening scene, we meet David and Claire—Aaron Paul (the “Breaking Bad” Emmy winner) and British actress Annabelle Wallis from “The Tudors”—as they’re playing a cute game pretending not to know each other before falling into bed. The next morning, David wakes up and Claire is gone with no explanation, and she remains missing for a year. When David goes looking for her, he learns there’s more to his girlfriend than he ever realized, as his search puts him into grave danger.
Other than the mystery behind Claire’s disappearance, this isn’t necessarily a thriller in the classic sense, at least during its first half. In some ways, it’s more like the recent Complete Unknown, more of an enigmatic character drama, and it takes nearly an hour for the pace to ramp up as we finally get one possible answer for what happened to Claire. From there, everything takes a surprising turn more into traditional action-thriller territory, which also adds some much-needed excitement.
From watching “Breaking Bad,”we already know that Aaron Paul has a lot of charm and personality, but he proves himself to also be quite an able leading man for this type of film, keeping you invested in David’s search for Claire. The chemistry between Paul and Wallis is so palpable that you can’t help falling for them as a couple, and when the film just becomes about David’s search for Claire, it does lose something. Maybe that’s because it gets dull watching Paul mope around, trying to find out what happened but always getting more questions than answers.
During this time, we also get a lot of flashbacks to the ups and downs of their relationship, something which gets far more interesting after the big reveal, as we start noticing how different Claire is when we know she’s hiding something. Paul’s scenes with Wallis are terrific, and it’s hard not to love their moments together, but the cast around the duo aren’t nearly as good, which puts a lot on Paul’s back to keep the viewer’s interest.
Whedon is a decent director, and having written a solid script and having Paul as his lead allows him to add a good deal of action during the movie’s second half. The success of the drastic shift in gears can partially be attributed to composer Nate Walcott, whose moody, ambient score pulls the two disparate sections of the film closer together.
The second half of the film makes up for the dull first half, and ultimately makes Come and Find Me worth watching.Whedon’s debut might not offer the most compelling mystery, but it’s constantly elevated by a performance by Paul that would make Hitchcock proud.
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