An entertaining follow-up to “Searching,” if not equal to.

“Missing” is the spiritual sequel to the 2018 breakout hit “Searching,” which told the story of a father searching for his teenage daughter through the point of view of computers and iPhones. It was also an ingenious and heartbreaking story about family and determination, and how a parent’s love is strong.

“Missing” is no “Searching,” because of how the introduction of the new girl throwing house parties while her mother is away, and parts of the story are a little predictable. But, I was still entertained and interested in its twists and turns. It’s basically “Searching” in reverse with the teen looking for the parent, but it’s not in the “remake in disguise” category. And for good reason.

The new LA girl is June (Storm Reid), whose mother Grace (Nia Long) leaves for a trip with her boyfriend (Ken Leung) in Colombia. She’s the mom who wants her safe and calls her Junebug, and she’s the daughter who pretends to write down important facts. When her mother doesn’t show up at LAX, she calls the authorities, her mother’s lawyer (Amy Landecker), a Colombia resistant (Joaquim de Almeida), and uses all the apps and tools to solve this mystery.

Was she really in Columbia, is she a good guy or a bad guy, or what’s really going on? So many questions. Many answers I can’t say.

The pieces of these puzzles (written by “Searching” creators Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian and editors Nick Johnson and Will Merreck) fit and take us deeper into what really has been going on in the mother’s life and the people around here. I refuse to give out any spoilers, but I was basically guessing. Sometimes, I was right and other times I was wrong. And I’m glad I was wrong for obvious reasons.

There’s also an echo from “Scream,” when “Missing” turns the Margaret Kim story from “Searching” into a Netflix series. Think about it. I know it probably would be inevitable, but we didn’t expect to interested in “Stab.” That’s why the movie starts like a regular movie with the cinematography. I promise you it returns to computers and phones.

Reid is well-picked as the lead for the ways her character transcends from a typical teenager to a devoted daughter, who wishes she didn’t just give her a mom a like to her “Love You” text. A young actress like her knows how to express her emotions, unlike Zen McGrath in “The Son.” And that performance was so stressful for my tastes. This performance is as complex and truth as John Cho’s in “Searching.”

You have to be professional editors and artists to make popular websites look like they have fake articles, and each movie, I’m impressed with them. I do worry about some articles leading to NASA announcements for certain reasons, but I’m more riveted by how they’re able adjust those Google searches.

There are certain apps I know in this movie, and others I don’t. One of the apps I know is WhatsApp, which works quite well when June calls the de Almeida character for help. There’s some sentimental value there, and it doesn’t recycle any tricks. You worry they do, but they don’t.

Again, “Missing” is not “Searching,” but it sure as Hell wants to be, and that’s good enough for me.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

Categories: Drama, Sequel, Thriller

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: