Thursday, August 3, 2017

'Kidnap' Makes for a Great Popcorn Movie

Review of Halle Berry's "Kidnap."
Halle Berry tackles almost all of Kidnap by herself. (Aviron Pictures)

MOVIE REVIEW

People often joke about how human mothers can turn into mama bears if anyone tries to mess with their children. With Hall Berry starring in the lead role, you don’t even have to see the trailer for Kidnap, to know the kidnappers have “taken the wrong child!” It’s a wild ride and one that I quite enjoyed taking.

We learn early on that Karla Dyson (Berry) is a single mom who works as a waitress in a small diner. She is going through a divorce and her successful ex husband wants sole custody of their child, Frankie (Sage Correa), but that isn’t going ruin her day out at the park with her son. It is the kidnapping of her son that is going to ruin her day.

Review of Halle Berry's "Kidnap."
(Aviron Pictures)
Kidnap asks the question, “What would you do?” over and over again through the film’s 82 minutes and although the story isn’t exactly all that realistic, many of Karla’s reactions throughout the story are. Throughout this whole ordeal, she is faced with either endangering the lives of others or losing her son forever and you can see the pain of guilt on her face as she chooses her son. That isn’t to say that that movie could be mistaken for Masterpiece Theatre, but it is actually a very exciting movie and an enjoyable one if you can get past some of its plot holes.

It is refreshing to see a movie that is exactly what it says it is. Kidnap is a simple story of an average woman whose son gets kidnapped by average kidnappers. There is no black shiny van driven by big men in sunglasses. There is no ransom note and nobody is trying to take over the world. In this story, Karla actually see’s the kidnappers taking her child and stuffing him in their car. What’s a mother to do? Chase down the car of course! Unfortunately, Karla’s companion is Murphy’s Law. Just when she gets “this close” to her son, the bad guys take him away again.


Halle is in every scene of this movie so a lot is resting on her shoulders. For the most part, she does a great job. Unfortunately, she is saddled with some terrible lines of dialogue beginning with the cutesy “Marco Polo” game that she plays with her son. When she is driving in her car alone, director Luis Prieto chooses to have Barry narrate every play by play instead of just showing us the action. In one spot, she prays “Dear God, I know that I don’t usually pray to You unless someone is sick or on an airplane, but if you would just let me find my son, I will never ask You for another thing” when in reality, most moms would probably be praying, “Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Please help!”

So while Berry need not worry on where to place her next Oscar, Kidnap is actually worth seeing during these dog days of summer. It’s a great popcorn movie with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

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