“… a terribly boring story wrapped up in a pretty package that gets old after ten minutes.”
Hollywood is a business, and one of the most important facets of business is attracting new customers. Movies have been doing this since their inception and it has been getting harder and harder to get the average person to leave their house to go and sit in a dark room with a bunch of other strangers to watch a movie. So every once in a while a movie like Searching will come out with a shtick. It will have a quirk that interests audiences and makes that last step of getting them to the theatre a little easier. And in the case of Searching the great reviews don’t hurt either.
When I first heard about Searching I thought it would be a generic thriller with a tired shtick (it seems like everyone is forgetting Unfriended), but everyone and their mother was raving about how good it was; so I had to see it for myself. This was a mistake. Obviously the movie relies very heavily on the whole “computer” thing, so lets tackle the other issues first. Searching is generic. It is a bland story told in a “fun” way, and that is why people like it. If Searching was shot in a traditional way, it would live and die in its opening week. Literally nobody would give a shit, becasue it is a story we’ve seen a thousand times before. It is by no means bad, but it is just so plain. It’s almost insulting at this point to have a movie with such a boring story hidden behind a cool “thing”.
And then talking about the “thing” itself: Searching’s shtick got old in the first few minutes. You knew what was going to happen pretty much from the start due to the story, so what was supposed to be Searching’s crutch became a dagger in its side. You know you’ve done something wrong when it is literally more fun to read the fake internet headlines in your movie than it is to watch your movie. The most annoying thing about Searching was that it showed everything; and that’s a problem with this filmmaking style. In a traditional movie you would have a character say “I contacted all of her Facebook friends and found out this”, but in Searching we have to see John Cho painstakingly navigate the internet for almost two hours to reach the same conclusion. If this movie were shot like a normal movie it would have been a short film. That should tell you how little substance there is.
It was also kind of weird that the movie was almost an ad for Apple. I mean, if the subject matter was any different Apple would have no problem at all using this movie to its benefit. Everything was so easy for the main character due to the Mac OS. And also, nobody texts that fast. If you can resist the urge to fall asleep until the climax then you’re in for an alright time I guess. Once again its pretty generic, but the ending was nice. I don’t really know what else to say about this movie aside from wonder how it got so many good reviews. It’s just so boring.
Overall Searching was a terribly boring story wrapped up in a pretty package that gets old after ten minutes. Nothing stands out about this movie to me, and I’m sure it will promptly be forgotten.
I give Searching a D