Aneesh Chaganty, Will Merrick, and Nick Johnson have spent the last few years slowly building an anthology of films that deal with missing people and the growing sophistication of technology in our lives. They arrived on the scene with Searching in 2018, told entirely through computer screens. Then came Run in 2020, and now, after a Covid-19 delay, Missing. Chaganty directed the first two with Merrick and Johnson as editors; but now the editors have become screenwriters and make their directorial debut with the new film.
They have intertwined the characters from the three films so you actually get some closure for Run with dialogue in Missing.
The new film swaps the father seeking his daughter from the first film as this time, teenager June (Storm Reid) uses her laptop and computer skills to track the whereabouts of her mother, Grace (Nia Long), who has disappeared in Colombia with her new boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung). Since she can’t leave America, June finds Javier (Joaquim de Almeida), a gig worker, to do the legwork in South America.
The film is the best sort of onion, with every new layer revealing twists and turns, upending what we thought only minutes before. No one is who they appear to be and June, still mourning her dead father, feels increasingly alone, isolated, and just a tad paranoid. That she relies entirely on her computer for a real connection to the world works as a metaphor for so many teens (although, as a teacher, I jealous at how adept she is with the laptop compared with my own high schoolers).
There’s enough action and danger tossed into the story that we’re not just sitting and watching June and Javier do the real work, similar to a Twitch experience. Here, the tyro directors do a fine job ratcheting up the tension and handle the action just fine. They’re helped with a solid cast led by Reid, who has never been less than impressive in her roles.
The film, out on Blu-ray with a Digital HD Code from Sony Home Entertainment, has a fine 1080p transfer that lets all the digital screens and computer graphics shine. The visuals are improved by the excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack.
The disc comes with a very fine assortment of Special Features, including Storm Reid and the Challenge of Missing (5:34); The Screens that Rule Our Lives (5:10); Hunting for the MISSING Easter Eggs (8:28); Misdirects, Online Crimes and the Social Media Mystery of Missing (6:53): Making a Frame Timelapse (0:48); Deleted Scenes (9:07); Filmmaker’s Commentary with producer Natalie Qasabian, Merrick, and Johnson.