Its been a while since Oscar winner Halle Berry has been in anything worth seeing, with flops like Catwoman and Perfect Strangers under her belt she’s in need of a box office hit (although I have to say Catwoman is a guilty pleasure of mine-the film is hilarious). Can The Call prove to be Box Office Gold?
Berry is Jordan, a 911 operator dealing with a terrible mistake she made six months ago. When teenager Casey (Abigail Breslin) is kidnapped and placed in the trunk of a car she uses a friend’s misplaced disposable phone to calls 911 and speaks to Jordan. Jordan has to use all her experience and skills to help Casey escape from her kidnapper.
The first hour of this film is great. The opening sequence showing Jordan’s mistake that influences her actions in the rest of the film is full of nail-biting tension. When she receives the call from Casey she’s forced to put the past behind her to help save this girl. Berry is the most likeable she’s been for a while as Jordan comes across as a compassionate and determined person. She gives some inventive advise to Casey to help escape her attacker and draw attention to herself so she can be saved. The scenes where Casey tries to get help are nerve wrecking and well-directed. The performances by Berry and Breslin are also great.
However The Call stumbles around the one hour mark, the film loses its tension and starts becoming a bit silly. When the kidnapper arrives at his lair he gets less creepy and more annoying, despite the film best efforts to try to bring his back story to light. Jordan-who has behaved professional and smart earlier in the film-does some stupid things which makes the audience question her intelligence, especially as she is a 911 operator who should know better. The film starts unraveling and becomes more sillier as it goes on. The ending was also a let down, being down-right ridiculous.
All in all not a terrible film, but a disappointing end lets it down, which is a shame as it had potential to be a great thriller instead of just an average one.
Rating-3/5, A smart, tense first hour gives way to an abysmal final half hour