The Call

Logline

An empathetic 911 dispatcher gets a second chance to capture a crazed child abductor when she receives a phone call from his latest victim.

Why we went

It was a night in for myself and Paige. We’ve been wanting to see this since March, and I’ve been theater-deprived. So we boldly went where 35,000 other IMDB users had gone before.

Why it worked…?

The Call may be ridiculous. Its character’s may act questionably and the cinematography may feel like an elaborate episode of NCIS. These things I expected. What surprised me was a movie as consistently fun as this one turned out to be.

Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) owns it as a totally terrified blonde girl from the ‘burbs. When she comes to in her captor’s car trunk, she finds the perfect pitch and consistently sustains it. Thanks to strong casting, ours is a teenage victim we’d prefer get home safe.

Which is why we also take a liking to her potential rescuer, Halle Berry. Her performance is wonderful. I could stare at that woman for hours on end. But that’s probably just because she’s unrealistically perfect, even beneath her Kyle Broflovski jew-weave.

Story-wise, it works and it doesn’t. The beats make for a speedy play-by-play. We get into each scene late and leave early. Never was I bored. But the events don’t exactly unfold in a sensible way. Half the time, we question the actions of the characters on-screen. Really, you’re gonna go down that dark hallway unaccompanied with no cell phone service?! I’m not convinced, but do carry on. It’s a perfect example of that moment where you can see the puppet strings.

I took major issue with the stuttering camerawork too. Shaky faux-handheld needs to die, please. It ruined The Hunger Games for me and it totally peeled me away from some of The Call’s more suspenseful moments. Not always, but enough to annoy.

There’s a school of thought that says, “All’s well that ends well.” If you prescribe to this belief, you have 1 of 2 options: 1. Turn the movie off at about the 93 minute mark, or 2. Just don’t bother at all. Seriously. Its about as satisfying as a rice cake.

Bottom Line

You will have fun as its happening, but those seeking a satisfying, logically sound story will find that The Call flatlines.

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