'Last Seen Alive' Review: Gerard Butler's thriller is breezy and packs a punch
Gerard Butler's Will Spann delivers a few biffs and some generous doses of expletives as he takes on some drug dealers in search of his wife, Lisa (Jaimie Alexander) in Brian Goodman's 'Last Seen Alive'. The thriller does enough to hold the attention but does have its share of holes. It's pretty surprising that a movie starring Butler gets less publicity. It's not a bad movie either. It might not be one of the best works from Butler, but it definitely passes for a one-time watch and is breezy enough to run through with some popcorn and soda. The story is standard. It's boilerplate where a husband goes in search of his missing wife, and how he's entangled in a mess that sees him evade authorities and take matters into his own hands.
Butler comes off a good flick. His 'Copshop' did pretty well as far as slick con movies go, and now he returns to his usual action hero mode. His career trajectory is almost Bruce Willis-like cementing his status as one of Hollywood's dependable action heroes. He packs a mean swing, he's buff, and he's almost certainly capable of shouldering a movie on his own, just as he does with 'Last Seen Alive'.
Will has been having issues with Lisa. The latter feels the need to take a break and decides to head to her parent's house in Emerson. Things go from bad to worse when she gets kidnapped by a handyman who works for her folks. A worried Will searches and reluctantly works with Detective Paterson (Bill Hornsby), only to later take charge of things. He follows some leads, whacks the living daylights of a few baddies, and whether he finds Lisa forms the crux of the 90-minute affair. There are enough questions about the motive which the antagonists don't necessarily establish, but hey, you kidnap a person, surely there's a ransom call in the offing at least.
Butler occupies almost every frame in the movie, and it seems to have been easy work considering it takes place mostly in two locations. 'Last Seen Alive' qualifies for a decent flick even if it's got the clunky lines that somehow make their way into the film. Goodman manages to make something out of a flimsy plot that has three very straightforward acts — the kidnapping, the hunt, and the outcome. It's predictable, but it's Butler, and the man doesn't disappoint, even if he's not saving the President this time.