John Cho is a true pop culture icon. It was this very man who first voiced the term “MILF”, making mums everywhere fear their own level of hotness thereafter. He also had a helping hand in making White Castle a world-recognised fast food chain with his role as a stoner nerd in Harold & Kumar. Can’t deny the man’s power.
Cho’s roles over the past 20 years since have obviously stretched far and wide, like a reg gig in the Star Trek franchise, but it’s his latest casting that I really wanna get stuck into – an endearingly clueless, paranoid and 11/10 loving father, David Kim.
You see, David is under the impression he has a trustworthy and beaut relationship with his 16-year-old daughter, Margot – they’re all each other have after the death of her mother, after all. But when she doesn’t come home after study group one night and a local missing person investigation is opened, he soon realises he doesn’t know his little girl as well as he thought.
Presented solely through screens – FaceTime, computer desktops, security cams, TV footage, phones, a live cast site – the Aneesh Chaganty-directed film follows the desperate father’s steps as he tries to trace his daughter’s digital footprint, alongside Detective Vick (played by Will & Grace‘s Debra Messing), who has been assigned to the case.
It’s a supremely modern film, with the reliance of the internet as a snapshot into his daughter’s life only reinforcing this. However, the snapshot is not at all what David expected of his daughter – none of her Facebook “friends” really even know her, she’s got an almost non-existent presence on Instagram and, as discovered after her dad hacks into her laptop, has an unusual pattern of bank transactions going into a stranger’s account.
The only thing her online profile uncovers is additional questions and, as the investigation goes on, a spotlight is even shone on David as a potential suspect in Margot’s disappearance.
Cho’s lead performance in the film is anything but funny – something we’re so used to from him – as the audience journeys with him through the whirlwind of dark emotions as he tries to find out what happened to his daughter, while simultaneously trying to battle feeling like a failed parent.
It’s gripping, to say the least, and is already being praised by overseas critics ~shook~ by his A+ performance – empathetically pulling at the heartstrings and very real fears of parents and children alike.
Far be it from me to ruin the film’s ending for you all, but my oh my it’s a doozy. Check it out when it hits Aussie cinemas from September 13.