'Come and Find Me': Film Review
Aaron Paul stars in Zack Whedon's thriller about a man desperately trying to find his missing girlfriend.
The opening sequence in Zack Whedon's debut feature depicts its two central characters engaging in a ritual that they, but not we, are in on. With that annoying, cutesy episode, the sort that only happens in bad movies, Come and Find Me proves instantly unworthy of the audience's trust. It's too bad, because the Hitchcockian thriller has a reasonably intriguing plot and a solid leading man in Aaron Paul.
The Emmy-winning Breaking Bad actor plays David, a graphic designer who lives in a hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles with his photographer girlfriend Claire (Annabelle Wallis). That is, until he wakes up one morning to find her mysteriously gone, leaving no note or clues about her sudden disappearance.
When police attempts to find her prove fruitless over the course of a year, David takes matters into his own hands. He begins his investigation with a visit to an automotive repair shop that he's seen in Claire's previously undeveloped photos, only to find it swarming with Russian mobsters who are clearly unhappy at the intrusion. And that's just the beginning, with David soon running afoul of government forces led by a shadowy agent (Garret Dillahunt).
The storyline, familiar-feeling as it is, could have made for an effective thriller. But writer/director Whedon (brother of Joss) bogs down the pacing with too many routine flashbacks to David and Claire in happier days and sacrifices credibility with increasingly outlandish plot twists. By the time the film reaches its silly conclusion, audiences will have long since ceased to care about solving the mystery.
Although highly appealing as the free-spirited Claire, Wallis can't quite carry off the aspects revealed about her character late in the film. And Paul uses his everyman quality to make David an engagingly sympathetic figure, one whose being in over his head becomes all too apparent by the frequent physical punishment he's forced to endure. But the actors' efforts are not enough to give the mostly tedious proceedings sufficient life.
Distributor: Saban Films, Lionsgate
Production companies: Automatik Entertainment, Motion Picture Capital, Oddfellows Entertainment
Cast: Aaron Paul, Annabelle Wallis, Garret Dillahunt, Zachary Knighton
Director-screenwriter: Zack Whedon
Producers: Chris Ferguson, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Executive producers: Jo Monk, Laure Vaysee
Director of photography: Sean Stiegemeier
Production designer: Tink
Editor: Greg Ng
Costume designer: Ariana Preece
Composer: Nate Walcott
Casting: Rich Delia, Kara Eide, Kris Woz
Rated R, 112 minutes