There may be nothing more frustrating than watching a movie with a killer concept and middling execution. That’s the fate that befalls Zack Whedon’s Come and Find Me, a mixture of espionage and romance starring Aaron Paul as a man who discovers that the love of his life isn’t who she claimed but only after she’s gone missing. Come and Find Me has its moments of intrigue but never finds the forward momentum to keep the devious dealings all that interesting, as a lackadaisical pacing exacerbated by multiple flashbacks prevent Whedon from allowing the story to escalate in an engaging manner.
When we first encounter David (Aaron Paul), he’s boarding a crowded bus. He spies a blonde woman sitting not far from him, and his stare seems to indicate that he has grown quickly infatuated with her. They both exit the bus at the same time, and their paths are practically the same as they walk from the bus stop. She stops, turns and asks him, “Are you following me?” The two continue to walk along the same path, arriving at the same home – each claims that this is where they live. However, it’s all just an elaborate form of role playing between two lovers, as David and Claire (Annabelle Wallis) quickly share a warm embrace following the thrill of their little game. A short time later, David wakes up in their bed alone. He calls Claire’s friends only to learn that nobody has any information as to her whereabouts. She has simply vanished into thin air without a trace. Determined, David starts his own dogged investigation as to his missing lover and soon begins to uncover answers that indicate that Claire wasn’t who she said she was, and the clues lead him deeper and deeper into a dangerous world that may very well take his life.
Aaron Paul does an admirable job as David, the everyman thrown into a world of intrigue that he doesn’t quite understand. He interacts with people such Kyle (Chris Chalk), a college friend of Claire’s who turns out to be someone completely different, and John Hall (Garret Dillahunt), a spy in search of a roll of film that Claire had stashed and David discovered. It’s genuinely amusing that the cover art for Come and Find Me has Aaron Paul holding a gun as if he’s the film’s central badass that will dispense violent retribution for the love he’s lost, but Paul’s David is just an average guy flung into a dangerous world of liars and killers who rarely holds a firearm let alone know how to use it.
As good as the premise for Come and Find Me is it’s the manner with which Whedon allows it to unfold that proves to be its undoing. Whedon liberally employs flashbacks to add depth to the relationship between David and Claire, but this always works to the film’s detriment. These flashbacks often occur once Whedon has escalated the stakes of the missing person story and cause the film to lose momentum when it needs it the most. It’s really an example of a writer-director getting to fine with his idea, employing a variety of tricks that aren’t necessary to the story that’s unfolding. Had Whedon simply allowed this movie to unfold in a linear fashion it would be much more fascinating and suspenseful.
The special features on the Blu-ray for Come and Find Me add a little depth to the movie, with audio commentary by Zack Whedon and a little featurette explaining the project’s origins. The featurette has the cast and crew musing on encountering Whedon’s script from The Black List and their own personal excitement in working with each other and taking on this project from the first-time writer-director.
Come and Find Me is almost a good little movie that blends romance with espionage and intrigue, but Zack Whedon doesn’t seem to show enough faith in his concept that he uses too many flashbacks to add depth to the corners of his story that don’t need it. Come and Find Me is lacking in suspense and that lacking tension undermines some really interesting ideas that get buried as the film progresses. But Come and Find Me is Zack Whedon’s first turn as a writer-director and there’s enough promise within the film that his future endeavors shouldn’t be simply written off.
Come and Find Me
- Overall Score
The directorial debut of writer-director Zack Whedon, Come and Find Me features an intriguing premise and a strong performance by Aaron Paul but lacks in tension as a result of some questionable storytelling decisions.