Apple TV+ keeps Charles Schultz’s legacy alive in the latest special, Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home Franklin. Raymond S. Persi directed the film, and the script was written by Robb Armstrong, Bryan Schultz, Craig Schultz, and Cornelius Uliano. An origin story of Peanuts’ most beloved characters, the film follows a boy named Franklin and his approach to making new friends.
Missing is a crowd pleasing popcorn thriller
On the heels of the successful Searching and Run, creatives Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty continue in the suspense genre with Missing from Sony Pictures Releasing. Missing serves as a standalone sequel to Searching and an epilogue to Run. Nick Johnson and Will Merrick, the editors of the previously mentioned films, make their directorial debut with Missing in addition to penning the screenplay.
Following her dad’s death when she was four years old, June (Storm Reid) and her mother, Grace (Nia Long), moved to the City of Angels. Now aged 18 and ready to leave for college, June is going through the usual ups and down young adults encounter with overprotective parents. Grace decides to give June some weekend freedom and heads out on a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung).
Initially, June is enjoying her independence, but things take a different turn when Grace and Kevin don’t return from their vacation in Colombia. Looking for answers to her mom’s disappearance, June faces hindrance by international red tape. Stuck thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, June creatively uses all the latest technology at her fingertips to try and find her before it’s too late. However, as she digs deeper, her digital sleuthing soon raises more questions than answers.
Similar to Searching, Missing is a film that I advise you to see with a crowd and go in blind. Sitting in my preview screening, a good portion of the fun in the movie was the audience’s reaction to crucial moments as June unravels the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance. One of the first things I commend in the screenplay is the attention to detail they put into the positive use of social media and technology. I also liked how they touched on conspiracies and how the public quickly turns on a possible victim before all the facts come out, just for some likes and shares.
Primarily the film belongs to Storm, who has spent the last decade building up her resume. Her lead acting skills in the 2018 adaptation of the literary classic A Wrinkle In Time first impressed me. With her work on the HBO hit Euphoria, she’s making an excellent transition to adult roles. The alluring Nia Long shines in her brief moments, and it was great to see Joaquim de Almeida in a supporting role on screen. Here he portrays a local assisting June with her search.
While some viewers may think some of the plot points are implausible, everything in the film is intentional, and all comes together when the credits roll. Always staying within its welcome with the run time, the creative team behind Missing delivers an enjoyable popcorn thriller.
Final Grade: B
Missing opens in theaters on Thursday, January 19th.
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