Synopsis: After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.
Sure – that’s the synopsis – however, this movie is entirely shown via a computer screen. Some of you will be turned off immediately, but let me tell you why this is really, really cool. BECAUSE THEY DID IT WELL! I watched an entire movie that was based on a computer and technology and it really worked.
I mean let’s be honest – I’ll cry at some movies. I mean at the end of movies that are damn near perfect…I’ll shed a tear. But I was about to cry withing the first 3 minutes of this one?! That seems a little extreme guys, jeez. The movie is based around John Cho (playing David Kim in the film) finding his missing daughter. Want to know what John Cho is known for? He’s freaking Harold Lee in Harold and Kumar. Yeah, now are you interested? But in all seriousness, Cho is phenomenal in his role of panicked father who (spoilers) loses his wife and his whole world is his daughter, who then goes missing.
Cho texts his daughter from his computer, facetimes her, makes calls, and it’s kind of the tech world we live in today. He also does a 5 step forgot your password routine that makes me a little nervous that someone could hack into my stuff if they are at my PC. But it’s a realistic stretch of each. It’s not like he just types in “Facebook” and she’s logged in. And it’s not like his first (or second) reset your password works – he has to get creative. And luckily they originally linked this many years ago to a parent’s email. Clever.
The entire movie also has Cho battle his inner demons of losing his wife, seeing items from more than 2 years ago and deleting things that he would later regret deleting no doubt. So Cho goes through the “why isn’t my daughter responding” to “my daughter is disobeying me” to “holy shit where is my daughter” thing pretty well. I think as a parent, it always makes movies like this more realistic and grips you a little tighter. Because you can someone envision it and feel the pain he’s going through.
So his daughter is missing and he begins…um…Searching. **MAJOR SPOILERS** I actually thought the night Cho called Detective Vick (Debra Messing) that something was very weird when she was rustling around and freaking out because he called the cops but then she seemed normal again and I thought maybe it was just a bad reaction (or a 4:45 am reaction when you’ve got some shit on your mind). But yeah, there are some twists that you don’t see coming. From the fact that Cho’s brother is involved in some sort (he finds some questionable texts on Margot’s phone) and then the ultimate twist at the end, which I’ll spare you if you care to watch this (which you should). But Searching really had me gripped. I was in it from the start and never let up. Ultimately, a gripping thriller in the first person (first PC?) view, which does a very, very good job of being realistic. There are so many minor details that it’s hard to mention, but once you watch you’ll be like holy shit, this is good. Trust me, have I ever steered you wrong?! Okay, but have I ever steered YOU, specifically, wrong? Give me a chance!!!