It’s a lackluster TV movie script that maintains just a little class because of the Academy-Award-winning actress in the lead.
Halle Berry turns in a wonderful performance in the less-than-stellar “Kidnap,” a silly film whose beginning is a lot more interesting than what eventually unfolds. Berry plays Karla, a waitress who is raising her son alone now that her husband has taken up with another woman.
Frankie (Sage Correa,) who is really cute and sweet, looks forward to their trip to the park, which is full of colors and activity (this is the same carnival scene that has become the hallmark of so many bad movies.)
When Karla answers her phone and turns away from Frankie. The phone call is from a lawyer. Not surprisingly, her ex wants primary custody of Frankie. But she has even more to be terrified about: Despite her admonishments, Frankie takes off with a stranger and ends up being abducted. I found this scene sadly realistic — Karla takes her eyes off her little boy for only a few moments, but that’s enough for a stranger to drag him away and take off with him in a car. This scene is really good, and will have every parent sharing Karla’s worst nightmare.
Once she sees what is happening to her son, Karla, who no longer has her phone at her disposal, takes off in pursuit of the vehicle that contains Frankie. The easily identifiable car (I love Mustang GTs — this one is from the 1980s) ends up causing all kinds of problems, with Karla right on its tail until she realizes the kidnappers might harm her son if she doesn’t back off.
The story unfolds in real time, which is an interesting idea but a concept that has backfired before. (Does anyone remember the Johnny Depp movie “Nick of Time?” There’s a reason that you don’t.) Karla pursues the Mustang in her red min-van, and all kinds of people are killed are maimed along the way. (One woman piteously tries to crawl to safety after being injured.)
Karla doesn’t particularly seem to care that she is creating a string of tragedies as she proceeds — maybe the viewers aren’t supposed to, either.
The movie’s finale will not come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever seen a movie before. It’s laughably predictable.
Berry retains her dignity with a nice performance, but that doesn’t bring this turkey up to average quality. Drive away from this one before you end up spending your hard-earned bucks on this lame excuse for a thriller.