Movie Review: “The Call”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 10:00 am.

(Photo: Emergency Films)

Summary: Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is a veteran 911 dispatcher.  After hearing a brutal murder, she becomes emotionally involved with a teenager who is kidnapped and is determined to save the girl.

Review: The Call is not a cinematic masterpiece, but formulaic thrillers never are — the most important, after years of indie flicks and flops, Halle returned to number one at the box office, proving the Oscar winner still can deliver a crowd pleaser.

Directed by Brad Anderson, the film maintains suspense, keeps the viewer excited and includes clever plot twists that are interesting enough for the genre. The Call is a movie you want to see in theaters with an animated audience who comment on everything from Halle’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” Whitney Houston wig to Abigail Breslin’s fighting-for-her-life character to Morris Chestnut still maintaining his sexy at 44. No, The Call won’t be a film we’ll remember five years or even a year from now, but the popcorn flick isn’t meant to rock the souls of viewers, it’s meant to entertain.

Clearly not set out to bring strong performances, but Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin and Morris Chestnut were surprisingly realistic, which helped redeem the flick that could’ve easily got lost down cheese-ball lane. These are character you are routing for and up until the weak ending, The Call keeps you on the thrill ride.

Due to an abduance of clichés, the last 15 minutes nearly ruin the film: walking in dark basements, thinking the villain is dead when he isn’t it and the overzealous hero.  It appeared the writer and director weren’t sure what to do with the characters so they sloppily tied the plot together with a girl-power message. Nonetheless, the ride of The Call is so worth it.

The Call is on DVD June 25.

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