The camera loves Halle Berry. And, she's won an Oscar (Best Actress
for “Monster's Ball” in 2001). So
her presence alone is enough to justify a look-see at this one.
Unfortunately, there's a lot not to like.
First, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen the movie.
A woman loses track of her young son in a crowd.
With a grim, determined, look on her face, she pursues the
kidnappers. Is there any doubt
how the story's going to end? (Hint:
not like the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's son).
Then there's the wasted time trying to establish Halle Berry's
character, a waitress (or is it “food server”?) in a diner; a single
Mom who's going through a messy divorce, but we don't need all that to
empathize with her. Even if
she does allow herself to be distracted while talking to her lawyer.
Then there's the gambit of her dropping her phone on the pavement
in hasty pursuit of the kidnappers, and then of course she doesn't have it
for the rest of the movie, which means she has to rely either on her own
resources or the kindness of strangers.
(Turns out they aren't much help.
Big surprise there.)
But worst of all, Berry's character (will anybody even remember or
care about the character name?) seems to be some sort of superwoman when
it comes to hanging on to moving cars and falling off without apparent
injury, not to mention an accomplished race car driver----in a red
minivan? And surviving
multiple crashes with faculties intact, and no bones broken.
And then taking on the gang of desperados with whatever weapon is
handy, including the business end of a shovel, while the bad guys seem
more like poor white trash than accomplished criminals operating an
interstate child abduction ring. Oh,
and law enforcement isn't any help, either.
But who needs them, when Ms. Berry can just take the law into her
own hands, and still be the hero? (Or can we still say “heroine”?)
Well, it's unlikely, but that doesn't mean it isn't visceral.
We feel her pain and her tension, but Director Luis Prieto seems a
little too enamored with making viewers jump at loud noises.
Maybe it's all about female empowerment (though one of the outlaws
is a woman). Maybe it's
supposed to raise awareness about the number of unsolved missing children
cases. (Though statistically, most abductions are not by strangers, but
family members, often over, you guessed it, divorce disputes.)
Yes, the camera loves Halle Berry, and she is a great actress.
But this bound-for-the-bargain-bin film is not worthy of her