May 23, 2013
"The Call" is a pulsating crime thriller told from the point of view of a 911 operator. Jordan (Halle Berry) takes a distress call from Casey (Abigail Breslin), a young girl abducted from a mall. From there, we are taken on this chilling, nerve-wracking ride of a film along with Casey in the trunk of that red Toyota Camry, as Jordan desperately tries to locate her and help her over her cell phone.
I have not seen Halle Berry star in a film for a long time, and this was a good one for her. The pacing and editing under the reins of director Brad Anderson are tight and exciting. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time in the first hour or so. OK, you will recognize several familiar scenes adapted from various crime films in the past. I notably felt a lot of "Silence of the Lambs" in the secret lair of the kidnapper (a disgusting and heartless role owned by Michael Eklund).
The ending sequence though turns a bit corny and uncharacteristic for an even-keeled sensible 911 operator like Jordan. I thought it could have been done in a less contrived way, but this was the "playing for the general audience" way. But hey, I'll take that. If not for that head- scratching denouement (which I bet you actually would expect to happen anyway), this would have been another run of the mill television crime flick.
It may not be anything too memorable afterwards, but I would recommend this film for the heart-racing hour and a half it brings us. This film is a bit of a throwback to old-fashioned crime thrillers when computer- generated special effects were not yet in vogue. This gave "The Call" its gritty look and feel that we do not see much anymore in mainstream movies of today. OK film. 6/10.