Films with rampaging dads exercising familial retribution have
enough entries to probably qualify as their own subgenre, both in the basest,
direct-to-video form and in more tricked-out iterations (think The Patriot, for instance). No prurience
or real cathartic release is to be found in Disappeared,
however, starring Ray Winstone.
Written by Simon Tyrrell and directed by Adrian Shergold,
the movie is of said genre, with Winstone (Sexy
Beast, The Proposition)
starring as Harry Sands, a self-made, middle class family man, happily married
with two children. When he learns that his college-age daughter has gone
flies out to find her. To his horror, he discovers from Olivia’s best friend
Manda (Emily Corrie) that the two of them have been working as nightclub
dancers, and not as charity workers as Harry and his wife were led to believe.
So begins Harry’s hunt for his missing daughter, a labyrinthine
journey that leads him to suspect businessmen Peter Vine (David Westhead) and
Metin Fazouk (Dimitri Andreas). Olivia hasn’t been prostituting herself, as the
film goes to painstaking lengths to stress, but Peter, Metin and possibly other
figures seem to have an unhealthy pattern of nursing crushes on girls half
their age. So that leads to… an awful lot of chin-wagging, actually. The police
are sort of helpful, but move too slowly for Harry’s liking; basically everyone
keeps expressing sympathy to Harry, saying, “I have a daughter too.” Winstone
gives a decent performance, but the chief problem is that Disappeared doesn’t make particularly good use of the potentially
intimidating figure that he can cut. He’s a somewhat neutered character, and
the audience keeps waiting for something to interrupt the movie’s solemnly
plotted track. Shergold, too, proves a fairly cut-rate director; he leans
heavily on affected slow-motion, and this tack — along with some quite murky
and shaky handheld camerawork in a few key passages throughout the film’s
second act — certainly don’t help elevate the material.
Housed in a regular Amray case, Disappeared is presented in somewhat grainy 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen,
with English language Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound and 2.0 stereo audio tracks.
There are no supplemental bonus materials, only a gallery of four preview
trailers, including one for The Breed. The film scores points for not being a completely desultory revenge tale, but it’s not really plausible or gripping enough to recommend to the arthouse set. C (Movie) D+ (Disc)