Against this backdrop, we view tough and embittered Maggie Gilkeson (Blanchett) a homesteader trying to bring up two daughters with a new husband. When her half-Indian Ex turns up on the doorstep (Tommy Lee Jones) he’s less than welcome, but his tracking skills are soon going to be needed, when Maggie’s new husband falls foul of some violent kidnappers who take her eldest daughter (Wood). Maggie has no choice other than to trust her ex-husband and follow trails in the hope of catching up with the gang before they cross the border.
The Missing isn’t going to break new ground over a division between good and evil, here the lines are well defined throughout – what is interesting though, is the fact that director Ron Howard has attempted to give some understanding of the lives and ways of certain Indian tribes – some are even allowed here to speak in their own language with subtitles coming up on screen – almost unheard of for a Hollywood studio film. The leads give good performances and even though you may think you know what will happen in the end, there are a few surprises. Overall therefore, this is a good effort. Its harsh, and fairly unremitting in places, the idea of women becoming a commodity to be traded seems totally alien in this day and age, but is perfectly believable for the time and location in which its set, and at the end of the day, rather like in The Fugitive, you’ve got Tommy Lee Jones in a role that almost suits him best, on the trail of someone, ably and supported here by Cate Blanchett, playing a role also so well suited for her, playing a woman with real guts. Its easy then to identify with both in the roles they play.