In the US, a child goes missing every 40 seconds. You never think it will happen to you. Until it does. Alone and scared, Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) is unwilling to leave the fate of her son’s life in someone else’s hands. When she catches a glimpse of the abductors speeding away, she decides to fight back. In a heart pounding race against time, Karla begins a high speed pursuit and will stop at nothing to save her son’s life.
User Reviews: First off, let me just say that I can rarely be bothered to write reviews on here. The only reason I decided to was due to: 1) lack of reviews, and most importantly 2) the very few reviews that have been posted here are so incomprehensively negative that the only explanation I can come up with was that they had to be shills (which is surprising to me, as most ‘shills’ on IMDb are only here to artificially increase a film’s positive reviews).
That being said, I found these these first two negative reviews utterly baffling. Now I’m no expert film critic, but movies are my number one passion in life. As such, I’ve seen so many that I’ve literally arrived to the point where I’m thoroughly jaded…so much so that most everything that I’ve seen usually leaves me both bored and uninterested, or at best, mildly amused. Now that I’ve had my mini-rant, I’ll continue on with my review.
As the title of the film implies, the story is as basic as it gets: a mother’s son gets kidnapped, and said mother stops at nothing to get him back. From that simple premise (which has been rehashed millions of times), I began watching this with the expectation that I’ll be seeing one cliché after another, with gratuitous violence and over-blown CGI and/or cheesy effects mixed in for good measure. I can honestly say that not only were those expectations overturned, but for the first time that I can remember, I was literally sat on the edge of my seat and kept in suspense throughout. That statement may sound generic and trite, but coming from a jaded cinephile, it becomes a huge compliment.
I never lost interest for a second, and the sheer intensity and suspense that I felt throughout ‘Kidnap’ got to the level where I was actively looking to see how many more minutes was left before it ended not because I was bored and wanted to know how much more tedium I had to suffer, but so that I could tell how much more hell the protagonist (and by extension, I) had to go through before all the nail-biting suspense could finally come to an end.
It was a taught cat-and-mouse thriller expertly choreographed, and Halle Berry’s acting was sublime! In fact, I was initially so put-off by the film’s synopsis, I would have passed this over in an instant had it not been for the fact that Ms Berry was in it! The acting, cinematography and stunt-work were masterfully crafted in such a way so as to get you emotionally invested throughout. I think that is why this film engendered such a visceral reaction whilst watching it. If you cannot relate to nor care about the characters, the film you’re watching falls flat, and you consequently lose interest very quickly. Not so with ‘Kidnap’. The relatability of Berry’s character, plus the superb job she did with this role, puts you right in the car seat next to her.
If you are like me, and suffer from the ennui that inevitably comes from having seen almost every movie ever made, and are looking for the proverbial ‘white knuckle ride’ and adrenaline rush, then I cannot recommend ‘Kidnap’ strongly enough. In fact, I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that this is on my top 4 list of films I’ve seen this year thus far!
So in a way, I give thanks to the two negative reviewers. Had it not been for them, I wouldn’t have even bothered writing this review!