Movie Review: “Kidnap”

by Vyctorya Thomas-Vanzant

“Kidnap,” a thriller/mystery film released in early August, portrays a hardworking, single mother pushing her limits in order to save her son from being kidnapped.

Like most action films, “Kidnap” unfortunately doesn’t stand out in any particular way. The trailer itself gave away the majority of the film and subsequently, watching it was more of a waiting game for the mother, Karla Dyson (Halle Berry), to rescue her son, Frankie (Sage Correa). After Frankie is whisked away from an outing at the park, Karla hops into her car to chase after the culprits for a solid 50 minutes of the 82-minute film.

While I will admit the suspense was present as Karla engaged in impetuous driving to keep up with her son’s captors, it quickly became mundane after the first 10 minutes. Only twice does she leave the safety of her van to face the captors face to face, but even those two moments lacked momentum.

Aside from the longer-than-needed car chase, there is some good in the shooting of “Kidnap.” Halle Berry did an excellent job portraying the loving mother willing to sacrifice everything for her child. I also appreciate director Luis Prieto for humanizing her character. In the film, Karla becomes responsible for a few freeway accidents due to her reckless driving yet reluctantly leaves the victims behind. In one scene, however, Karla not only risks losing sight of the captors but also her life in order to save a woman from getting run over by an oncoming vehicle. This small scene is a contrast from the reckless, hysterical Karla shown in the beginning of the film.

Though “Kidnap” wasn’t bad, it wasn’t necessarily good either. I would treat this film as an option of last resort when there is nothing else to watch.

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