Film Review: Kidnap

7 Plot
7 Acting
4 Cinematography
6 Experience

Writer: Knate Lee

Director: Luis Pietro

Cast: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn

Karla Dyson is a doting mother who would do anything for her son Frankie. Her love is put to the ultimate test when her pride and joy is kidnapped right under her nose. With no time to spare Karla heads out on the journey of a lifetime to save her boy and she’ll do anything to protect him. These kidnappers picked the wrong mom to mess with.

If you intend to see this movie to support your favorite leading lady you will get your money’s worth. This film is about 90 minutes of Halle and not much else. Most movie fans have probably seen the leaked version of the film and will note just a few minor changes in the finished cut. While much of the movie remains the same the hatchet job done to piece together this film is evident. There are continuity errors and a few flat scenes that were obviously tossed in to pad the 90 minute run time. One of the most glaring errors occurs in the first 10 minutes when Karla’s typical waitress up-do inexplicably evolves into a chic wavy bob. This could be overlooked and easily forgotten, but the chase scenes left much to be desired. There wasn’t anything fast and furious about the chase, we’ve seen faster driving running errands. Repetitive shots of the odometer show the car rarely went over 60 miles per hour. We could even forgive the low-speed chases if there were more action but regrettably, there’s just a lot of Halle running and looking confused. Even her first contact with the kidnappers is awkward. After a major chase that may or may not have cost a motorcycle cop his life, Karla and the kidnappers have a standoff in a field. We tried not to laugh when the gawky redneck climbed out the little car. We were unsuccessful and were still cracking up a minute later when Karla tried to bribe him by throwing her wallet at him.

Despite the missteps, hack editing job and awkwardness the film is actually watchable. The plot is solid the acting is passable but the parts don’t come together as seamlessly as one would expect. We suspect that the best scenes were likely left on the cutting room floor and what remains is the watered down Kidnapped is like the Lifetime movie of the week version of Taken  In summation, Kidnap’s plot and dialogue are better than Catwoman, the acting is miles beyond BAPs and it won’t make you nearly as uncomfortable as the sex scene in Monster’s Ball. It isn’t Berry’s best work but it’s also not her worst.

Kidnap hits theaters Friday, August 4.