The 2022 American action thriller movie Last Seen Alive was written by Marc Frydman and directed by Brian Goodman. On June 3, 2022, it was released in the US to negative reviews. Following real estate mogul Will Spann (Gerard Butler) when his wife Lisa (Jaimie Alexander) mysteriously vanishes at a gas station, Last Seen Alive centers on her mysterious disappearance.
This movie’s narrative and Kurt Russell’s 1997 film Breakdown are eerily similar, but that’s about where the similarities end. While Last Seen Alive often keeps things basic and realistic, Breakdown was a thriller with grand action scenes and a difficult reveal. There are no elaborate vehicle chases, or absurd story turns.
This movie explores the lengths one guy will go to in order to preserve a loved one, and it succeeds on that premise. Last Seen Alive keeps things tight and grimy, much like its protagonist. The subtleties between broken relationships are expertly captured by Goodman, and his action sequences are well-staged, well-shot, and brutally basic.
Cast and Characters
Will Spann is played by Gerard Butler
Born on November 13, 1969, Gerard James Butler is a Scottish actor and producer. After completing his legal studies, he began acting in the mid-1990s with tiny parts in movies like Mrs. Brown from 1997, Tomorrow Never Dies (a 1997 James Bond thriller), and Tale of the Mummy from 1998. He co-starred alongside Christopher Plummer and Jonny Lee Miller in the Gothic horror movie Dracula 2000 as Count Dracula.
Will’s wife, Lisa Spann, is portrayed by Jaimie Alexander
American actress Jaimie Lauren Alexander aka Jaimie Lauren Tarbush born on March 12, 1984. She is recognized for her roles as Lady Sif in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor in 2011, Thor: The Dark World in 2013, and Thor: Love and Thunder from 2022, as well as Jessi on the TV show Kyle XY, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from 2013 to 2020, and Loki on the Disney+ series of 2021. She played the lead in the NBC series Blindspot from 2015 until 2020.
Detective Paterson is played by Russell Hornsby.
Russell Hornsby is an American actor who was born on May 15, 1974. He is well-known for his performances as Detective Hank Griffin on the NBC drama Grimm, as Detective Edward “Eddie” Sutton on the ABC Family drama Lincoln Heights, as Luke on the HBO drama In Treatment, and as Lyons in the film Fences. In the Showtime television series The Affair, he also portrayed Carl Gatewood.
Last Seen Alive: Plot and Storyline
Detective Paterson tells a battered Knuckles he’ll be doing life in the opening scene of the film, but he doesn’t explain why. Will and Lisa Spann, a divorcing couple, are traveling to Lisa’s parents’ home since she has asked for some space. They stop for gas before getting to the house, and Lisa enters.
A massive white truck arrives, and the unidentified man stops Lisa as she exits the petrol station, obscuring the remainder of their conversation. After filling up, Will searches the shop and restrooms for Lisa but is unsuccessful. As he hurriedly searches the entire neighborhood, he calls her phone and asks if anybody has seen her as he begins to worry. After eventually reporting her absence to the local police, he goes to her parents’ home.
Lisa’s Parents’ Reaction
Will and Lisa’s parents, Barry and Anna Adams have a brief disagreement as he attempts to explain what occurred and asks for their assistance in finding Lisa. The couple’s conflict is shown in a flashback when Lisa recommends they take some time apart and is unable to articulate her lack of interest in their marriage. When Will returns to the gas station, Detective Paterson is waiting there. He confronts Oscar, the clerk, and requests a security video, but Oscar replies that the cameras are damaged.
The detective goes back to the station without any leads, and Will interviews Oscar once again. He becomes suspicious of Oscar after noticing the cameras are filming and engages him in combat until he is able to take the CCTV box from the wall. He goes straight to the station and shows Paterson the video. They see Lisa’s first exchange with the man up until the white vehicle blocks their vision.
After questioning Will, Detective Paterson suggests that he was responsible for her abduction because of their failed marriage. Will storms out after pointing out the image of the man and his vehicle on the surveillance tape to Barry and Anna. Barry and Anna correctly identify the man as Knuckles, their handyman. Will approaches Knuckles’ trailer and interrogates him on Lisa. After a bloody struggle, Will manages to pull down Knuckles and steal his pistol. Knuckles claims he was compelled to leave Lisa with Frank because he had no other option.
When Will is stopped for speeding while trying to find Frank, he ducts tapes Knuckles and places him in the trunk. In order to search Will’s vehicle, the officer has him exit it. Will runs for the surrounding woods off to the side of the road just as he discovers Knuckles in the trunk. Knuckles is then discovered by the officer whining in the trunk. Detective Paterson sees Barry and Anna at the same time, disclosing her relationship with “Clint,” but she cuts off all communication with him afterward despite his efforts to get in touch with her. Another flashback reveals Anna had doubts about Will.
Oscar arrives as Will pressures a guard into admitting him inside Frank’s drug lab in the woods full of addicts, confirming his initial assumptions. While Knuckles is being questioned by Detective Paterson about Lisa’s kidnapping, Will quietly searches the camp for Lisa. In a flashback, Lisa is taken inside Knuckles’ car while he threatens her. Before drawing a revolver on Frank and pleading with him to tell him where his wife is, Will stealthily follows Frank inside a building while briefly remembering happy times with her. Due to the drug compounds and combustible tanks, the building eventually catches fire, and he ends up shooting Frank and one of his guys to death.
Last Segment of the plot
Detective Paterson forces Knuckles to confess as they relive the opening scene with them. Finally, Knuckles admits that Lisa is dead. And then explains how he abducted her in order to sell her to Will for a ransom. He also explains how Frank had him correct his “error” by digging a grave for Lisa. Now free to explore the camp, Will runs with Oscar, who claims to have Lisa’s phone and to know where she is.
He demands $20,000 in exchange for information and reveals that he has it. Oscar is killed in a violent explosion of the structure, and Detective Paterson shows up on the scene. When he goes to look into the hole after telling Will to stay, he discovers that it is empty and not filled. At the same moment, Will hears pounding coming from a shed nearby and discovers a tied-up, scared Lisa. He carries her outside after they kiss.
Detective Paterson makes a quick visit to the Adams’ home to tell Will that Knuckles confessed and to hint that he is aware that not everyone at the drug lab perished in the explosion since gunshot wounds were discovered on some victims. He waves before accelerating. Will and Lisa part ways, happy and holding hands, after Lisa tells him she has something to show him.
Last Seen Alive Reviews
The sequences from Will’s troubled marriage in the past aim to offer us a glimpse into his personality. But they are never relevant to his life or effective enough for them to be taken seriously. The villains, who are mostly lifted from True Detective’s first season with their shotguns and remote meth lab, also seem to materialize out of thin air at the conclusion. Butler makes an effort to convey the drama and agony of Will’s circumstances.
However, he appears to be far more at ease portraying guys whose goals are clearer, whether it is protecting Sparta in 300 or rescuing the President’s face in the Has Fallen series. Other than its absurd premise that couples who survive kidnappings together stay together, Last Seen Alive also lacked Will’s wife and a dash of innovation.
Lacks in execution and creativeness
They add nothing to the story and just lengthen the movie’s running time, so if you’re impatiently waiting for the credits to roll, you can feel deeply annoyed every time the plot shifts to accommodate scenes of Will and Lisa’s deteriorating relationship. In the end, this is more about the lack of story logic, originality, and innovation than it is about Lisa’s disappearance. Its cheap atmosphere and uninspired plot have a lot in common with the current run of B-movies that Nicolas Cage and Bruce Willis have starred.
Brian Goodman’s picture, torn between wanting to be a psychological thriller or an action-adventure, never manages to get its plot straight. Last Seen Alive still fails to make any of its characters seem intriguing, even when it saves its Taken-style retribution spree till the very end. Butler’s Will, who is equally adept at playing a real estate developer, vigilante fighter, and super sleuth—basically whatever the complicated story requires him to be—is central to this.
The best part is undoubtedly the last act when Will finally catches up to the bad guys. It’s gratifying to see the production employ an actual setting rather than a cardboard staging. Will administers some appalling beatings, and a confrontation inside a drug home is powerful and heart-pounding.
The finale of Last Seen Alive is the fundamental issue, not the characters or familiarity with the plot. As it starts to gain momentum, the movie sort of loses steam. It’s unfortunate since, at that point, the thrills and stress are almost intolerable. You’ll adore it if you’re a Butler fan.