Behind the rather ominous title, Last Seen Alive, hides an entertaining thriller driven by Gerard Butler’s trademark performance. It’s truly a skill to give this type of an “all-in” performance in a movie like this. The man is truly a professional. Plus, when you see the poster, with him holding a gun, you know exactly what you’re going to get. And I love how his Scottish accent gave a little color to the atmosphere. It brings a smile to my face to hear someone yelling where’s my wife with a thick Scottish accent. And while we’re here, I have to mention that Butler reminded me of Mel Gibson from some twenty years ago.
I miss these straightforward thrillers like Last Seen Alive. Sure, they’re generic and feature a simple story but sometimes that’s enough. Sometimes you don’t need complicated plots with huge twists but something mildly engaging and effective. You can just play them and forget about the world for ninety minutes. And who knows, they might even surprise you. And if you want something with a bit more oomph, Fractured is a good choice. Back to this one, the first nice touch is that our hero is not some ex-army guy who knows hand-to-hand combat or carries a gun.
He’s just a real estate developer and he acts like one. This adds a much-needed sense of authenticity and relatability. However, I did not like that he seems to be one of those men of the old, brushing aside mental health issues like depression. I also want you to pay attention to just how good the music and sound editing were here. Both of these elements elevate rather mediocre scenes, giving them just enough tension to make them interesting. And while Butler was the main star here, Russell Hornsby was just as good, if not better as Detective Paterson. Do check him out in Stuck, a bizarre dark humor thriller based on true events.
Will and Lisa are on their way to her parent’s house when they stop for gas. While Will stays by the car, Lisa runs inside to get a bottle of water. And then she disappears from the face of the Earth. Will calls the police but realizes pretty quickly that everything is taking too long. So, he will have to take matters into his own hands…
One of the strangest aspects of the story is just how simple it is. I mean, think about what really happened when the credits start rolling and you’ll know what I mean. And you have to do it then because you will forget about Last Seen Alive in a couple of hours. It will be “that movie where Butler is looking for his wife”. I can’t believe we’ve managed to go full three paragraphs without mentioning Breakdown, a nineties masterpiece featuring a very similar story. I do recommend you check it out if you’re looking for something more intense and engaging.
Director: Brian Goodman
Writer: Marc Frydman
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jaimie Alexander, Russell Hornsby, Bruce Altman, Ethan Embry, David Kallaway
Fun Facts: The original title for the movie was Chase but they decided to change it Last Seen Alive right before the premiere. Gerard Butler was also one of the producers.