Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 19, 2019)
They’re back, and they’re balder than ever! Noted chrome-domes Bruce Willis and Michael Chiklis pair for 2019’s direct-to-video thriller 10 Minutes Gone.
Crime boss Rex (Willis) brings on a team led by Frank (Chiklis) to purloin a collection of valuable jewels. However, this robbery goes awry, mainly because an unknown party alerts the police in advance.
Because he gets a severe bop to the noggin, Frank loses 10 minutes of memory related to the job. He needs to recover those observations to discover the identity of the rat and stay ahead of other threats.
At its heart, Gone wants to offer a modern-day spin on 1940s film noir crime thrillers. Unfortunately, it provides almost literally nothing to make this conceit work.
And by “almost literally nothing”, I can’t find a single positive element related to this film. Okay, maybe the plot comes with some basic potential, but as executed for the screen, everything about Gone fails.
Willis and Chiklis bring some star power, but neither bothers to break a sweat here. Actually, Willis spends little time on screen, so this feels like a paycheck movie that only required him to work for a day or two.
As the lead, Chiklis dominates, but he never really attempts to do much with the part. He sputters and blusters his way through the cheap tough guy dialogue and fails to find anything in his role.
Not that I can blame Chiklis too much, as he finds himself stuck with such a terrible script. Gone leaves no crime flick clichés unturned, and it doesn’t generate any life or creativity.
Any viewer over the age of 12 will have seen all this material before – and seen it done much better. Toss in a “revelatory twist” that becomes obvious 10 minutes into the movie and you’ll find no surprises or drama here.
Director Brian A. Miller tries desperately to develop thrills here, and he succeeds – in looking desperate, that is. With a slew of trite cinematic techniques on display, Miller demonstrates no confidence in himself or the material, as he relies on strident methods to attempt excitement.
As such, we find a camera that spins, spins, and spins some more. No matter what the scenario, that camera just won’t sit still, and this feels like a lame attempt to convey movement and vivacity.
In the same vein, composer Josh Atchley’s score becomes a constant companion – and an irritating one. The strident music practically begs us to feel various emotions, but it flops, as it just seems tiresome.
The lack of filmmaker confidence really remains the issue, as Gone seems to possess no faith that it can entertain on a basic level. Instead, it forces overwrought cinematic methods on us that seem more likely to cause migraines than entertainment.