Wednesday, April 17, 2013

At The Movies: The Call

The Call

In Theaters: March 15, 2013

Starring: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli

Director: Brad Anderson

MPAA Rating: R (for violence, disturbing content and some language)

Plot Summary: When veteran 911 operator, Jordan (Halle Berry), takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life.

My Thoughts: As soon as I saw this trailer, I knew this movie was going to be intense. Halle Berry delivers a remarkable performance as Jordan, a 911 operator for LAPD who at first glance appears to love her job and is quite good at it. She is in a relationship with Officer Paul Phillips (Morris Chestnut) and seems to be at the top of her game. Everything changes suddenly for Jordan one evening when she takes a call from a frantic teenager who calls 911 to report an intruder. Jordan takes the call very calmly and professionally walking the girl through the steps to hide while awaiting police arrival. Everything appears to be going well and the intruder is leaving the home when the call is disconnected and following procedure, Jordan calls the number back, alerting the intruder to the girl's presence in the house. Of course, the intruder (Michael Eklund) locates the girl's hiding place and grabs her taking the phone from her. Jordan begs with him to leave the house and not to hurt the girl, but he states "It's already done" and disconnects the call. Several days later, the girl's body is recovered. Jordan blames herself and decides she can no longer do the job.

Six months later, Jordan is now a trainer of 911 operators and is in the process of giving a tour to a new batch of trainees when a call comes in from a frantic girl who says she has been kidnapped. Jordan is forced to take over the call from the frazzled call-taker and though it's painfully obvious she is on the verge of losing it herself, her instincts kick in and she begins to offer assistance to the young girl, Casey (Abigail Breslin), who is inside the trunk of a car calling on an untraceable cell phone.

The majority of this movie revolves around Jordan on the phone with Casey, trying to help her remain calm and figure out ways to get help to her, including kicking out the tail light and waving her hand through the hole and pouring paint out of the same hole in the hopes of leaving a trail. Up until this point, the movie is very fast paced suspense but when a fellow motorist sees the paint and tries to get involved, the movie skyrockets into terrifying when we see several times how far the killer is willing to go. Michael Eklund delivers a very gripping performance as the disturbed and psychotic kidnapper.

This movie gives a very good sense of realistic and true events, which is what makes the subject matter so frightening. It can and does really happen to real people and the 911 operator is holding someone's life in their hands. Like most 911 operators, Jordan can handle herself very well and periodically gets calls that are very difficult and emotionally painful but she has to hold herself together the best she can to help the person on the other end of the line. Lives depend on it.

Unfortunately, that is where all common sense and reality ends. When the call with Casey ends, Jordan is ordered to go home by her supervisor but instead starts listening back to the call trying to figure out where the killer took Casey. Then Jordan takes it upon herself to get in her car and drive up into the hills to look for her by herself! Unarmed and no police officers backing her up, she only has a cell phone with no signal! I found myself asking repeatedly, "What the bloody hell is she going to do when she finds this lunatic?!?" In addition, we never got a good understanding of the killer's background and why he's kidnapping and murdering young blonde girls. There's a hint of an explanation involving the killer's sister, who appears to be a cancer patient and has been deceased for a very long time, but we are never told or shown if she died from the cancer and he's doing this trying to cope with her death or if he killed her himself.

My Rating: For a movie that starts out quite well and holds up with the adrenaline and suspense, this film takes an abrupt nose-dive in the last 20 minutes leaving me with more questions than answers. I don't recommend spending the big bucks to see this at the theater. Wait until it goes to the dollar theater or wait for the DVD instead.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)