Patrick Kenzie has two kinds of friends, Cops and Scum, but don’t hold that against him, he’s probably the best detective in the North East. When a frantic aunt calls him to find her missing niece, Patrick finds he has to choose between happiness and honor; a catch 22 that leaves his life in broken bits.
Before I get into this I want to call out a specific actor; as I have loved him in EVERYTHING I’ve seen him in:
Edi Gathegi who plays “Cheese” in Gone, Baby, one, “Big Love” in House and the totally memorable Haitian Cab Driver in Crank. I really expect and hope to see more from him, as he has the kind of mournful or threatening or easy going presence that a young actor could only hope to put forth. He’s great here and deserves some recognition as a strong supporting character.
It’s a fine thing to spend some time breaking on Ben Affleck, that he’s uncooth, that he’s a hack, that he has it way better than you and he doesn’t deserve it. I used to agree with this line of reasoning, Affleck always seemed to be the smarmy asshole and I truly hated him for it. Of course, that was because he was a good actor. When Ben wants to play a sympathetic lead or best friend, he becomes likeable and pleasant. When he’s a leading man, cocky and sure, he is. I think Ben Affleck is a fine actor and it’s about time we all just accepted that he is both talented and not just lucky. “Gone Baby Gone” pretty much proves it.
GBG does more for Casey Affleck in terms of acting, but considering that Bog Brother Bed is the director, it goes to show that the Afflecks have got talent in spades.
Casey Affleck plays Patrick Kenzie; a boston boy and detective in the mold of a streetwise Harry D’amour or John Constantine; a magus of the street without the magic. He works the streets, associating with cops and killers; knowing that the only thing of value he has is his self-respect. Honorable to a fault, Kenzie is forced to turn on his friends and tear down pillars of the humanity at the cost of his own happiness in his quest for closure. Faced with moral choices he makes difficult decisions, perhaps in a quest for redemption after he (in his own words) murders a guilty man.
Casey plays Patrick Kenzie with ease; he is almost lazy in his approach, but it betrays a cunning mind behind the eyes (always looking around, always looking at the angles). The character never seems put on, never a costume, Patrick and Casey are inseperable and while some scenes may have looked emotionless, it was entirely in character; honor over happiness as I stated before.
I was reminded, constantly, of 8MM while I watched this, the situation was very similiar (where Casey plays the role Joaquin Phoenix did in 8MM). I kept looking for “The Machine” moment in the movie, and when it came down, I was on the edge of my seat, nearly calling for it to happen. When I realized that nothing was resolved, I applauded the movie. Gone Baby Gone kept me on an emotional edge for the last hour, constantly hoping for a “happy” outcome; which never really came.
Now, the action was violent and shocking, there was at least one shooting that made me shout out “Oh My God, they shot him” I was absorbed at that point and I don’t think I blinked again until the end of the movie. It is that powerful.
All of this dances around the specifics of the story, which I have tried to conciously avoid; as I want you to fully enjoy this movie. It’s a worthwhile movie, certainly something I am going to watch again.
As for Ben, Affleck, you’da bomb in “Gone baby Gone” yo