As I was getting ready to watch Kidnap, a film that finally sees the light of day after getting bounced around the calendar due to issues with its original distributor, I heard a couple of people behind me talking about this film, and asking if we’d already seen this film from Halle Berry a few years ago. I get why they compared this to The Call. In both cases, Berry plays someone trying to protect a child. Both venture into melodramatic action, it’s true. Thankfully, Kidnap is at least structured differently. It’s not exactly great, mind you, but once the action gets going in this film, there is a sense of propulsion driving this film to its ending.

Karla McCoy (Berry) is a recently-separated mom struggling to provide for the love of her life, her young son Frankie (Sage Correa). After being distracted by a phone call while taking Frankie to the park, Karla discovers that her son is missing. She manages to see him being dragged into a car by a stranger, and she runs to stop them. When they manage to drive off, Frankie follows the car in hot pursuit, determined to get her son back.

Kidnap is at its best when it’s Halle Berry driving a car. There’s a solid amount of tension to the proceedings, and a few twists that might be predictable, but are still effective. But it’s hard to deny that the film is extremely formulaic. Worse, the opening is a snooze fest, with a series of opening logos played over droning music that segues into home video footage of Frankie with Berry’s voice clearly dubbed over in an attempt to pretend she’s filming.

The best thing I can say about Kidnap is this: if this movie has your interest, you’ll probably enjoy yourself overall. If you’ve watched the trailer and found it uninteresting, though, here’s some good news: you’ve basically seen the movie already, so you don’t have to pay to see it.

Kidnap • Rating: R (for violence and peril) • Runtime: 82 minutes • Genre: Action • Cast: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn, Lew Temple • Director: Luis Prieto • Writer: Knate Lee • Distributor: Aviron

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