As it stylistically echoes the highest highs of Fincher’s illustrious career, Gone Girl effortlessly transcends tropes thanks to many a merit. At-first unfolding as a typical whodunnit, one Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is on his way to the chopping block following his wife Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) disappearance. Alternately examining the couple’s golden years in contrast to what did or didn’t lead Nick to kill, the film evolves into one hell of a well-woven exercise in toying with both expectation and sympathy.
For as laudably ever-present Fincher’s flair is, Gone Girl is nearly impossible to critique at length without spoiling one of many narrative game changers. Much like his needless if agreeably superior Girl with the Dragon Tattoo retread, this film thrives on the basis of long-winded complexity and unpredictability. Flynn’s script – self-adapted from the titular novel – does well in procuring a slow burn consistent with genre trappings until the rug is unceremoniously yanked out from under us. Generally speaking, what once was certain becomes irrevocably muddled amid twist after twist (after twist).
In fact, it’s this haywire progression that functions as a lone weak point, what with said twists purposefully existing to subvert predictability over and over again. Cheap, maybe, however it all functions so well as certain elements are expertly illustrated, including but certainly not limited to the overarching, media-driven influence on the entire case at hand. All things considered, it’s hard to not appreciate how events unfold from scene to scene as a ravenous desire for the truth develops and persists.
While I wouldn’t rank it among Fincher’s must-sees, there still hardly exists a negative aspect of Gone Girl. Relishing in its uprooting of whodunnit procedural tropes, the director’s effective presentational panache compliments the proceedings wonderfully. Despite the absurdity lacing the aforementioned onslaught of twists and turns, the film rarely ceases to engage as impatience regarding inevitable finality rears its ugly head. The commentary on modern media and marriage aside, Gone Girl is still assuredly one of the most deftly recreated literary adaptations to come along since, well, Fincher’s last go-round with the medium.