Kidnap (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Kidnap Review

Director: Luis Prieto
Writer: Knate Lee
Stars: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn

Plot:  A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 37%  Audience 50%

Why I Watched it: The trailer looked alright and I have to say I like Halle Berry in these types of roles.

Random Thoughts: That’s a bad title, just say the word as a movie title, it needs more.  You know a movie is really high concept when you can describe it in not only one sentence but a really short sentence.  You look at the tagline and really this is a working class Taken, it’s not an ex spy/army guy but a working class Mom.  It does have the hook of this being every parents worst nightmare, it’s cheap heat but it works to sell the movie.

What I Liked: This is one of those high octane movies, where once the plot starts it just keeps going and I have to say they’ve done a good job of bringing the tension and suspense cause really this is one big chase movie. I’ll give a ton of credit to Halle Berry cause a lot of this movie she’s alone, she has no one to play off of, she doesn’t even get the crutch of talking to a cop on the phone or the radio so most of her performance is her playing off the action.  This is a very psychical role and to Berry’s credit she’s good here, you buy her desperation, her fear, cause without that there’s no movie, this is all on her shoulders, cause the bad guys are mostly faceless.  That’s another key that this movie deals more with the situation, it’s Berry against the plot here.  Her son is kidnapped her has to get him back, almost a video game like idea. The chase/chases is shot well, the action is done well here cause it’s not only about the actual chase it’s the stakes involved here.  They did well just stretching this paper thin plot into a full movie.

What I Didn’t Like: This is the type of movie that while you’re watching in you’re on in cause it’s set up is good and the action is tense and moving where it falls apart is when they give you time to think, and yes there’s some really dumb plot points and decisions made here.  The basic problem is the film’s too long, this is 80 minutes at best and where the film is hurt is when the chases stops and it does a couple of times, it’s like in Speed it’s not as good when they get off the bus.  If Kidnap was just the chase it might have worked better, they do get some tension near the end but at that point they’re running on fumes.
Kidnap is another film that in theory is cool and could work as an action movie but it would have worked better ten years ago, they have to come up with reasons she doesn’t have a phone, cause you call the police right away, she panics falls drops her phone and leaves it. Now I also had a problem with the kidnapping, I get she out in a park she’s on the phone with her lawyer but to walk away and turn your back on your child is pretty dumb, she was far enough away she could have still watched her son.

Also where this film is a bit silly is the kidnapping and why, so these two people just take a kid and pull him to a car in daylight and with people around the kid is yelling, at this point you drop the kid and get out and of course they don’t do this but what they do is so dumb, all the stuff on the highway, they throw stuff out of their car and they threaten to throw a young kid out of the car and everyone drives by like nothing happens, at this point don’t you cut your losses. Once the chase stops and we end up at the bad guys hideout it turns into a standard B-Movie thriller, the good guy/women/person trying to sneak in, the action fights at the end are fine but takes you out of what happened earlier.  It also doesn’t help that the bad guys here are like cartoon characters.

Final Thoughts: It’s not bad and I do think some of it worked, I liked Halle Berry a lot and it was tense.  The plot just didn’t hold together enough for me.

Rating: 5/10

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