“KIDNAP” – 8 ½
In a word: Intense.
This is a good movie, because it entertains, raises heart rates, captures dire emotions between mother and child, while the 1 hour and 34 minutes fly by like it was half that time. It is packed with “intensity” from beginning to end.
Halle Berry’s character, a restaurant waitress, is a single mom of a six-year-old boy, in the throes of a custody battle with an ex-husband. She brings her boy to a local carnival when she takes a brief phone call about the impending court battle and tells her boy to “wait right here.” Moments later, she realizes the child is gone which triggers maternal panic, especially when she spots, at a distance, the child being loaded into a vehicle by a strange bedraggled woman. Berry goes ballistic, racing after the car on foot, to no avail. From there she boards her own vehicle which begins the hour-long, plus, nerve-wracking chase through highways and by-ways, causing too many crashes along the way. But…this is a movie.
It exudes the same emotions as the movie “Taken” only in this film all the events take place during a single afternoon of a harrowing chase and some short emotional scenes that follow, until ending.
I’ve been amazed at the mixture of reviews, some glowing but some extremely critical. Yes, there are plenty of “gotchas” and implausibles which often can sink an otherwise good film. But in this case, the gut-wrenching character, deftly played by Halle Berry, overcomes the few negatives as she gives a powerful performance as a devoted and tenacious mother who will go to any extreme to recover her son. Be prepared for lots of close-ups of this beautiful actress, and perhaps, a few too many shots clenching and gritting her pearly whites.
Kidnap is not a perfect film, not a Spielberg or Scorsese masterpiece, but it is a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. In terms of violence, language and sex, yes there’s violence but not gratuitous. Berry lets loose with a few expletives that fit the moment, but the movie is not laden with filthy dialogue. Sex: None. (how rare is that?)
Look for Berry to be nominated for an Oscar.
For sheer entertainment value, I cannot give his film less than 8 ½ out of 10.