Kidnap

2017-12-08 07:51
 

What it's about:

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mother Karla Dyson when kidnappers snatch her young son Frankie. With no cellphone and no time to wait for police, Dyson jumps into her car to follow the vehicle that holds Frankie. As the pursuit turns into a frantic, high-speed chase, Karla must risk everything and push herself to the limit to save her beloved child.

What we thought:

Halle Berry has fallen far from her big-hit movies pre-2010, and Kidnap is just another long list of mediocre films to add to the list. Originally slated to premiere three years ago in 2015, the movie has been stuck in limbo since its distributor Relativity Media declared bankruptcy and had to go back on the market. It has found a new distributor, but at this point they should have just cut their losses and made it a straight-to-TV movie. If you ever thought they could make a boring version of Taken, this would be it.

A mother’s son gets kidnapped from a park and she starts chasing them through highways and towns, losing her phone and apparently unable to stop a minute and ask someone for help. She gets to hit someone with a shovel though, which I guess is something.

Kidnap is basically just one long car chase scene that finally ends up in a house in the forest that could easily stand in for the setting of Wrong Turn. Though its subject matter is quite heavy (child smuggling rings is a horrifying issue), the ridiculous plot filled with way too many ex machinas reduces the issue to a C-list action movie. It’s such a contrived effort to make an appealing action film to… mothers I guess… that you can’t really enjoy Berry flipping a few cars and causing just too little havoc to attract the attention of fleet of police cars.

What it seriously lacked was a compelling villain. All we see of the kidnappers is the back of their heads in the car, disembodied voices and a brief interlude where one of the kidnappers gets into her car. The hillbilly woman is not nearly menacing enough to hype the tension, which unfairly falls all on Berry to keep going throughout the movie. If the script was any good it might have worked, and we all know the Berry can pull out great performances, but she had nothing and no one to give her support.

Kidnap assumes that the fact that the villains are child kidnappers are enough to make them evil in the eyes of the audience, but that’s not how stories work. The reason some superhero films fail is because of mediocre antagonists and here they barely make it onto the screen. 

I have no idea what kind of target audience would want to watch this, but seeing as it made a profit in the US market there’s apparently some people who are entertained by a beautiful woman mostly talking to herself and screaming at cars.

It may also have just been some hardcore Halle Berry fans.



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