AlWAYS LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP … OR LOG ON, US, 102 MIN
Feel free to come at Searching as a nifty whodunit thriller, or a nagging where-is-she? crime procedural. Just don’t make the mistake of attending safe in the knowledge you have seen it all before. The secret weapon in this unusually gripping experience is one of perspective. The entire movie is seen through the same virtual windows with which so many of us view the world today: via smartphones, webcams, social media posts, chat rooms, instant messaging apps and viral video clips. A tension-riddled story tracks the efforts of a worried father (John Cho) to find his absent daughter (Michelle La). With the police hitting dead ends everywhere, the devastated dad scrounges and scours every hard drive and handset he can find for that one elusive vital clue. While the movie’s visual structure does impress, it is the screenplay’s efficiency in playing upon our deepest fears of today’s connected world that truly impacts.