There are many good reasons why screenwriting has always been called, “The most difficult art form”. For one thing, there must be a good story and dialogue that will create opportunities for good acting. There has to be a level of common sense, continuity, and very often whatever the action is within those 2 hours on screen, people have to behave, the way that people actually behave in real life. In the case of a highly flawed new Gerard Butler movie on Netflix, “Last Seen Alive” – this movie is loaded with so many errors and so many instances where any lead character would never react the way Butler’s character acts, it ruins the entire movie.
While dropping off at a local gas station, Will Spann, played by Butler is a wealthy real estate investor, who is having marriage problems with his wife Lisa Spann, played by Jamie Alexander. While running short on gas, on a trip to Lisa’s parent’s house, Lisa goes into a gas station and never returns to her husband. She is abducted – immediately a great deal of similarity to the movie “Breakdown”, released in 1997 starring Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan – a much better movie that actually is logical.
Obviously, a frantic Will Spann, calls the police who tell him to stay there until they arrive. Instead, he stupidly drives to Lisa’s parent’s house, rather than just call them. Then, even worse, he follows this up by kidnapping one of the suspects – something that nobody with so much to lose would ever do. This kidnapping, starts a series of idiotic events, finishing within a drug house, with Will trying to find his wife by walking through sheets of plastic used for walls in a broken-down barn. This walking around is for so long a period of time that it was obvious the director was trying to make the movie longer. There is not much of a story here, just a series of events for Will Spann to continue to make mistake after mistake – trying desperately to find his wife. Perhaps the stupidest error is at the end, where Will Spann is not even arrested by the police for being caught red-handed in a kidnapping with the victim found bound in his car by a police officer. It seems the screenwriter was trying very hard to make this story as illogical as possible.
This time around – because this movie is so ridiculous – the Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 11% are accurate and I give this movie a solid pass.