Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In the movie ‘Not Forgotten’ life is pretty good for Jack Bishop (Simon Baker) in this Texas border town that he lives in. He’s a successful banker, his young wife Amaya looks exactly like Paz Vega which means she’s crazy hot, and he’s the coach of daughter Tobey’s (Chloe Moretz) soccer team. The perfect suburban existence. Tobey, being an eleven year old girl, is a bit of problem as she seems to have lost interest in the soccer she once loved, is becoming a tad bit disobedient towards her father and is showing an odd interest in the black arts that are floating around this sleepy town. An interest which has her father quite concerned for some reason. Also she is longing for her dead mother Katie (Claire Forlani) who’s picture she keeps by her bedside, though her step mother does her very best to fill the void. In addition to being crazy hot.

Then one day before soccer practice Tobey disappears. Did she run away? Did the local pedophile take her away? Where in the world did Tobey go? It doesn’t look like she was kidnapped since there is no ransom note, and it is almost as if she vanished into thin air. Jack is so desperate to get his little girl back he even agrees to participate in some of his wife’s wacky pagan ceremonies featuring blind bedridden Mexican women, lots and lots of candles, and blood sacrifices. Can you say... Satan?

Now we don’t much know about what’s going on this movie right about now, but we can glean that all isn’t what it seems. You have the numerous cut scenes of various imagery which, at least at this point, don’t seem to make any sense. You have Jack sneaking off and making phone calls to Mexico, speaking perfect Spanish in the process when we initially thought the man couldn’t speak the language. We have people who seem to recognize Jack while my man feigns complete ignorance… with some of these people mysteriously ending up dead. Then there’s the troubling issue of the FBI trying to help Jack find his baby girl with their appearance bringing more questions about the life about Jack Bishop than answers.

So who stole Jack Bishops daughter and why? More importantly, who in the hell is Jack Bishop?

The good thing about ‘Not Forgotten’ is that director Dror Soref will not leave us hanging in delivering answers to these questions, at least for the most part. I so hate it when they leave us hanging, but the movie itself… I don’t know… it’s an odd beast. This is a movie that is methodical in its pacing, maybe too methodical at times because admittedly I did tend to drift away on occasion, but despite how slowly the film moved, the narrative was setup in a way that did keep me interested in discovering what was going on. While I didn’t have a problem with the core of the films secrets once they were revealed, I did have some issue with some of the things surrounding the revelations of the big secrets of the movie.

For instance, without giving too much away, it’s fairly clear that Jack Bishop isn’t quite who we think he is and has chosen to redefine himself. That’s cool. But let’s say you were somebody you weren’t proud of while living in, heck I don’t know, New York City and subsequently chose to totally and completely reinvent yourself… and then move to Brooklyn. That doesn’t make much sense now does it? There are other things that Jack does, that other characters do or that the script allows them to do which doesn’t always add up. Then the whole supernatural, Black Magic thing was probably far too complicated and convoluted for its own good and adds to some of the confusion behind the reasons of the what, and especially the why in this film. The bottom line of the resolution clear was clear, just the reasons supporting it was kind of murky.

Simon Baker is a fine actor and plays the dual roles quite well, just as Paz Vega is also very good actress and does a good job in giving us insight into her character without giving too much away. ‘Not Forgotten’ is a different kind of movie and it offers a genuine change of pace, that’s for sure, but it is a slow moving and overly convoluted one as well. Is it a good movie? Well the jury is still out on that one and that jury is looking like it’s a hung one. I don’t know what to tell you.

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