Sunday, August 6, 2017

Movie Review: "Kidnap" (2017)

Director: Luis Prieto
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

A woman's son is abducted from an amusement park, which leads her to chase after the kidnappers in a high-speed pursuit.

"Kidnap," if you couldn't already tell from the title, is a child abduction thriller directed by Luis Prieto and is written by Knate Lee. It stars Halle Berry as Karla Dyson, a waitress whose son is kidnapped from an amusement park when she leaves him sitting on a chair so she can take a phone call from her lawyer about her impending custody hearing. Luckily, she is able to spot the abductors in the parking lot, so she speeds after them. Not so luckily, she drops her phone just before hopping into her car, which means she cannot phone the police or anyone else for help. There isn't much else to this story. Karla had a crappy day at work and is going through a divorce, and now the whole kidnapping of her son/car chase thing sort of caps off the day.

This entire movie is one big prolonged car chase where Halle Berry screams and talks to herself. She is in panic mode, chasing after the car which contains her abducted son. Our first thought was, if "Kidnap" is hellbent on trying to have an uber-realistic feel, we'd assume as soon as the kidnappers got spotted in a very public place crawling with witnesses, they'd just dump Halle Berry's kid and try again later for an easier target. The two cars chase, they stop, they chase, they stop, and that right there is the whole movie. After the mundanity of this predictable car chase, there is an inevitable (but extremely underwhelming) final showdown. The whole plot is very contrived. The writer and director find lame excuse after lame excuse to prolong the pursuit, and we were over it at the 20-minute mark. The criminals eventually threaten Frankie's life in the middle of the pursuit, so Karla backs off...until she doesn't. She literally backs off for 90 seconds, which apparently means the same threat magically stop applying! Did she assume the perpetrators wouldn't kill her kid because she backed off for two minutes?! IT'S SO DUMB.

There are so many plot holes in the script, it's hard to ignore them. We understand the need to make Halle Berry's character panicked and distraught during the worst period of her life, but even the dumbest asshole wouldn't do half of the dumb things she does in "Kidnap." There are maybe two good action packed moments just in case you need a little excitement with the boredom. Other than these two instances, "Kidnap" is a waste of time, talent, and energy. Sure, this project fell prey to the Relativity bankruptcy, but nothing could have fixed this mess. The story is thin and disposable. The camerawork is terrible. Some scenes are tilted for no apparent reason and others linger on objects for far longer than necessary. Halle Berry's bruise makeup is also inconsistent from scene to scene. This movie feels like a generic 90's action movie with 110% more screaming, but in 2017, there's no need to live in the past with such a cliche-ridden movie that has now been done a thousand times already.

My Rating: 2.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 2.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~40%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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