Plot: Karla (Halle Berry) has taken her son Frankie to the park for an afternoon of fun, with thrill rides, face painting, live music, and more. But when she takes a phone call from her lawyer, her attention is diverted for a few minutes and in that window, Frankie disappears. She asks if anyone has seen her son, but as she enters the parking lot, she sees something pushing him into a car. While Karla isn’t able to stop the kidnappers, she is able to get in her own car and follow them, though her phone is dropped in the process of the chase. Now she is in pursuit, but has no way to alert anyone to Frankie’s situation and if the car somehow leaves her field of vision, her son could be gone forever. But she isn’t about to let that happen, so she keeps pace and is determined to follow the car until her son is safe again. But can she stay on the trail, when even one mistake could mean losing her son?
Entertainment Value: Kidnap is a movie that throws logic and common sense out the window, but does so for the noble cause of giving us a wild, fun, breakneck chase movie that is immense fun to watch. So if you’re the kind of viewer who needs airtight plots or grounded realism, Kidnap is not going to dazzle you, as it leans more on tension and immediacy. I found this to be a fun, fast paced b movie that does just what it promises, unrolling an extensive chase and a mother driven to do whatever it takes to find her abducted son. After a brief introduction scene lays out some exposition, the movie bursts into high gear and never relents, with constant twists and turns, not to mention ever presented tension and dread. Halle Berry has the lead and does well, conveying the panic and desperation you’d expect. She is no action hero here, just a mother that is thrust into a fight for her child, which is an interesting approach. In other words, don’t expect a female spin on Taken, as her character isn’t a stunt driver, martial artist, or trained assassin, just a mom. The writing does abandon common sense often and leave big plot holes, so if you want a realistic drama about child abduction, this won’t fill those shoes. So this is no genre classic, but this still ends up as a fun b movie ride that is worth a look.
No nakedness. No time for love in this one, as the chase is almost constant and rarely relents long enough to take a breath, let alone take a lover. A little blood, but no scenes of a graphic nature. The movie involves car accidents, hit & runs, an underwater battle, and some shovel combat, so there is violence, but minimal bloodshed. This one is fueled by tension, not blood. But the action is effective, with some fun car chase moments and a tense showdown in the finale that has some quirky horror vibes, which is a fun way to close out the movie. The writing is passable, with less dialogue involved than most movies and a mostly serious tone. The dialogue is a lot of mother panic from Berry, but not much in terms of colorful or memorable lines. That’s kind of to be expected, as this tries to be more serious than camp oriented. As for craziness, we have the manic pace and b movie style thrills, but that’s about it.
Overall Insanity: 1/10