Release Date: August 4, 2017
Director: Luis Prieto
Writer: Knate Lee
Cast: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn, Lew Temple, Jason George, Christopher Berry, Arron Shiver, Kurtis Bedford, Carmella Riley, Brice Fisher, Jennie Ventriss, Timothy Fannon, Andy Wagner, Malea Rose, Jill Alexander, Holly O’Quin, Andy Abele, Andy Dylan, Robert Walker Branchaud, Kevin Johnson, Met Salih, Dana Gourrier, Kurt Krause, Wally Crowder, Ritchie Montgomery, Meghan Wolfe, Taryn Terrell, Molly Conarro
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 94 minutes
Production Company: Di Bonaventura Pictures, Gold Star Films, 606 Films, Ingenious Media, Lotus Entertainment (I), Rumble Entertainment, Well Go USA Entertainment, Aviron Pictures
Budget: $21,000,000 (estimated)
In the middle of summer with theaters full of giant blockbusters, a small but intense film is welcome with open arms. The average movie going audience can usually sympathize with the plot line, but this one ends up being a mother’s worst nightmare. Seeing your child kidnapped right before your eyes is unimaginable, which becomes a reality for the main star. So, what would you do in this situation? Fold up in shock not being able to respond, or turn into the terminator, not stopping until the Kidnappers meet their doom? This is the dilemma you get to witness as you’re cheering for justice in the theater. The film comes in at 94 minutes being a perfect runtime to flesh out a full realistic scenario on screen. Then, the director Luis Prieto added his own touch of flare that raised the bar for films of the same caliber. Which made the film still pop within its generic nature.
I say generic because of its simplicity, and familiarity. Even during the marketing campaign that was off and on for so long, this story seems like it’s been told a numerous amount of times. Even with the same actress Halle Berry with a similar tone from the film The Call (2013). She now takes on the role of Karla, desperate again and racing against time to save someone. Though, that doesn’t mean it still can’t be an entertaining film because it is. As we all know a mother’s bond to their child is unbreakable, and this film is using the opening credits to make that point with tender love and care. So it stings a bit more when the horrific even starts to take place.
Like all her roles Halle Berry comes together delivering another remarkable performance to add to her belt. Her facial expressions told 1,000 words as she rushed to the rescue of her loved one. I nearly felt every emotion as she did, convincing me this was no light-hearted situation. Her character, Karla was everything you’d want her to be too. She didn’t wait around screaming for help, but took matters into her own hands. The mentally behind her brainstorming in the heat of everything became more and more thrilling as each moment passed. Majority of the film takes place during a car chase seeing Karla turn into a raging hulk monster for justice was treated. She reacted as any mother would, and you’re right there with her to the end.
This film could’ve easily failed if it skimmed over the details. In the today’s world of technology there’s a number of ways to receive assistance from the local authorities or your surrounding citizens, and the script made sure it didn’t run into any gapping plot holes. It was a pretty solid film within that aspect. It also could’ve easily missed the mark if the director didn’t take his time as well. For a low budget film as such, the car chase scenes packed the most impact. No matter how well Berry’s performance was, it wouldn’t have mattered if the surrounding set ups didn’t feel real. There was also a few instances where flashy camera tricks were used to fade the film from black and white repeatedly which I’ve never seen done before, but added a level of intensity.
Everyone involved on screen did everything you’d expect of them, as well as on both sides of the fence. You would expect Karla to fight to the end and you would expect the antagonist to be a vile disgusted creature who is the scum of the earth. Selling that last point was very satisfying. The few moments in the end were slightly anti-climactic, but still ended the way it should not, being too obnoxious with a glorious end that doesn’t match the rest of the film. It’s everything it needs to be. A short fun thrill ride that’s familiar, but still packs a small punch.