REVIEW: The Call

"A mostly solid thriller."

 A 911 dispatcher takes over an abduction call in hopes of saving a young girl’s life only to find out she’s dealing with same killer who killed a young girl during one of her previous calls.

I should start by saying how much respect I have for the men and women who work the 911 hotline/Hive as it looks like a foreboding job that could easily suck the life out of you.  To get into the mindset of her character, Halle Berry, actually sat in on some real 911 calls to see how it all goes down.  Berry, for me, has always felt like a supporting actress rather than a lead, that said, I loved GOTHICA as well as enjoyed many of her other films like SWORDFISH and X-MEN movies (although I wish she didn’t change Storm’s accent every movie).  Berry’s performance here was strong, and I’m glad considering her presence in the abysmal MOVIE 43 made me lose some respect for her.  She earned it back tenfold.

Where this film stands apart from other serial killer thrillers is how they navigated through the Hive with our kidnapped girl Casey (ZOMBIELAND’s Little Rock all grown up).  Casey (Abigail Breslin) pulls her weight and at the very least, doesn’t simply roll over and die like many a damsel in distress these days—I especially loved the paint angle, very smart.  The phone tag scenario felt a little less believable due to the fact that with technology being as advanced as it is, you’d think they’d have triangulated that phone in fifteen minutes flat.  Sure, it was a throwaway, but damn, if it was that easy to just disappear off the grid everyone (killers and regular people alike) would be using them.

I’m a big fan of our demented killer, Michael Eklund, who’s come a long way from guest appearances on SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL.  One of Eklund’s most powerful/disturbing performances came from the post apocalyptic thriller THE DIVIDE—good flick, I definitely recommend it.  He plays a great psycho (loved the teeth chattering and the sister angle with the hair).  Getting the kidnapped Casey from A to B takes up a good hour of the film, which rocks and keeps you on the edge of your seat without a doubt, but a couple of the things that happen along the way bring me back to the idea of him getting pinpointed in  a much quicker fashion.  However, it is a movie after all, so I just rolled with it (and here’s a big HOLLA to Michael Imperioli–Chris from THE SOPRANOS).

THE CALL is a good thriller that’s slick, quick on its feet and smart.  The final act is a “take or leave it” dose of suspension of disbelief that I won’t ruin for you, but seeing as how the trailer shows you that (at some point) Berry and the killer end up at the same place, I can discuss it a little.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the ending, I’d have made the same decisions leading up to it, but Berry’s character isn’t a detective, so how she ends up where she ends up is a bit of a stretch.  It’s a small complaint to be sure, but I was shaking my head despite my grin.  All in all, this is a well made, intricately angled thriller that hopefully marks a comeback for Halle Berry.

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