See It, Rent It, Or Skip It: ‘The Call’
Halle Berry is Jordan, a 911 operator determined to help an abducted teenager escape the clutches of a deranged kidnapper in The Call.
Veiled by an unkempt mop of hair — obviously more concerned with saving lives than the latest trends in fashion — Jordan struggles to protect the teenager while overcoming her past.
Once you get beyond Berry’s frightening quaff you find that there are things even scarier in this film; like its antagonist Michael Foster. Masterfully played by Michael Eklund, Foster originally appears on-screen as a “regular guy” — button down shirt, slacks, and shades. However, Foster quickly becomes a sinister beast; butchering anyone that creates an obstacle between him and his golden-haired captive.
Eklund takes Foster through the realms of lunacy getting darker and darker as the film progresses. The contours of his face have a haunting quality; as he manufactures some of the most spine-chilling facial expressions that I have seen in a long time.
Gone are the remnants of Little Miss Sunshine that introduced, Abigail Breslin to the world as an adorable seven-year old. In The Call she plays a teenager buried under an undue amount of makeup–ladies you remember those days when we were still looking for our perfect shade. Abducted by Foster, Jordan becomes her only life line.
The film’s pacing is excellent. The events of the story unfold quickly with seldom ever a dull moment. From the very beginning you’re thrown into a world of extreme anticipation, frantic energy, and darkened intrigue. Towards the end of the movie a few damsel-in-distress moments rear their ugly head as Jordan descends into the mad man’s layer –big sigh; eye roll. There is no way you would catch me down there without a police escort.
The trailer is absolutely no indication of what is in store for the viewer once The Call is on-screen. My fingers remained clenched around a box of candy that eventually emerged as a mangled piece of cardboard at the film’s close.
A competent thriller, any misdirection at the end is out-weighed by a thrilling opening and a riveting plot. Along with the three aforementioned stars, the film also features Michael Imperioli, Morris Chesnut and Jennifer Hudson’s beau, David Otunga.
If you’re a fan of action, thrillers, or just a good time I say SEE IT; The Call is time and money well spent.
-Jennifer Hall, CBS Local