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Published On: Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017

Halle Berry’s desperation can’t save ‘Kidnap’ from predictable, cliche riddled story

Kidnap is one of the strangest review I have ever had to write. Halle Berry is entertaining and believable as a desperate mom, battling to rescue her son from kidnappers, but the film is riddled with slasher cliches and unrealistic plot points which keep the audience from truly embracing the reality the filmmakers were trying to create. Then in a bizarre twist, the film is rated-R, alienating potential viewers, based on minimal content, irrelevant to the film.

Karla Dyson (Berry) is a struggling waitress in the middle of an awful divorce when her beloved son is snatched a carnival. Dyson’s maternal instincts kick into overdrive and her pursuit is sudden, intense and unrelenting. Sadly, the film offers little else for a plot and the action follows Berry matching “wits” with stereotypical redneck criminals in rural Louisiana.

M4 Halle Berry stars in Relativity Studios’ “Kidnap”.
Copyright (c) 2015 Kidnap Holdings, LLC.
Photo: Peter Iovino

Unlike most parents, she never stops, pulls over or contacts law enforcement, bent on keeping the old, rugged Mustang GT in her sights. At one point she attempts to negotiate the freedom of her child while she prays during another hopeless moment – everything is quite contrived.

Borrowing from Friday the 13th or Halloween films, Kidnap keeps the chase going with perfect timing, incredible luck and an incredible suspension of disbelief. People die from car crashes (spoiler purposely avoided her) and then doesn’t even halt her pursuit.

I wish reality comes crashing in at the end of film, because Berry’s insane character would be hauled away in handcuffs, not lauded in any way. Her character never contemplates that harsh possibility.

Director Luis Prieto (Pusher) relies on prejudice with the villains (Lew Temple and Chris McGinn) as impoverished criminals despite the alleged “haul” of cash waiting for them at the end of their trafficking scheme. Berry delivers an adequate performance as the crazed mom relying only her primal motives, sacrificing her own safety, during the chase.

What is bizarre is the rating? Violence, thrilling suspense and a kidnapping mixed with only a couple of profane words shouldn’t warrant an R-rating. Criminal Minds is WAY worse than Kidnap ever could be for your subconscious and parenting nightmares.

The film is satisfying in some ways and yet, a complete disaster in others.

Kidnap receives 2 out of 5 stars.

Berry’s career just continues to spiral with another dismal film on her resume. She needs new agents, who will stop getting her roles in films like this, The Call, Cloud Atlas, the short-lived Extant, Frankie & Alice or Perfect Stranger.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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