The better genre films always mix in a little thematic undertow. They’re always about the under-story as much as the above-board one, and sometimes more so. Collateral was about a sardonic, blunt-spoken hitman forcing a flustered Los Angeles cab driver to help him assassinate several informants, but the real story was about the hitman saving the cabbie from a life of lethargy and aimlessness. And sometimes genre films do even more than this. They tell a story with the usual twists and turns, but the primary focus is the current social malaise — the dozens upon dozens of atmospheric details and flavor samplings that comprise a portrait of the times in which we live, the laws and customs we follow or defy, and the kind of people we’ve more or less become. This, I submit, is what Gone Girl is up to — cultural portraiture by way of a missing-wife whodunit. It doesn’t insist that you pay attention to the undercurrent — you can zone out and let the usual cat-and-mouse plot be the whole show if that’s what you want, but the riches are in the minutiae. And I don’t just mean the lampooning of TV tabloid “news” shows…that’s the low-hanging satiric fruit. I’m talking about everything in this film…it’s all about “us.” This is the kind of of movie that I more or less live for, or that delivers the kind of electric movie charge that justifies all the tedium. A movie that fiddles a tune that we can all hear with a common ear, but at the same performs a kind of haunting under-symphony. Your call, your move…there if you want it.