The movie industry can be interesting and very complicated at times. The road to the making, and eventual release of Kidnap took a few detours along the way. Development actually began back in 2009 and filming wrapped up at the end of 2014. Thanks to a previously attached studio’s financial woes, hopeful theatrical releases were pushed back and eventually cancelled before a new studio swooped in to resurrect it from the shelves of lost films. Aviron Pictures is now the proud owner of this commodity. Was the price and wait worth it?
Young Frankie (Sage Correa) is Karla’s (Halle Berry) pride and joy. He is the reason that she works so hard because, after all, a mother would sacrifice anything for her child. While going through a difficult divorce, Karla is trying her best to provide for her son but also wants to make sure that he’s enjoying life as well. The pair plan a routine trip to a fair for a little fun and relaxation. In the blink of an eye, the one thing that she loves most in this world has been taken from her. Frankie has been kidnapped but this single mother will do anything to get him back. And it’s from this point on that Kidnap shifts into high gear while building towards a tense finale.
The last time that Halle Berry was the lead actor and main focus of a film was back in 2013 where she portrays a veteran 911 operator who takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted. That plot had a similar focus when compared to Kidnap. So here we are again with a kid that has been taken and also car chases.
There is not one thing that stands out in a positive way with Kidnap as it appeared to be a flawed film even before it was released. Fate did everything it could in an attempt to keep this out of theaters but perseverance eventually won out as you can now pay to see this in theaters if you choose. The runtime was kept at a respectable length (94 minutes) but it still feels like an eternity. The commercials tout this as a high octane, non-stop, edge of your seat thriller. Well some of that is true. How many times are you on the expressway and need to “gun it” FROM speeds as low as 30 MPH? I’m guessing not too often. Part of this film’s strategy to emphasis high speed determination on the expressway was to zoom in on the speedometer reaching blazing speeds of 50 MPH in a minivan. Mmmkay. It is non-stop in the sense that tight close-ups of Halle Berry occurred scene after scene after grueling scene. I’m sure she commanded a healthy salary so director Luis Prieto was going to get his money’s worth. Dude, tell the camera operator to zoom out just a bit. And finally, you will definitely be on the edge of your seat after about an hour because you’ll want to leave. Sorry, you’ve been kidnapped.
As you have probably already figured out, I am not a fan of Kidnap. It just comes up short in so many ways. The character development is nonexistent aside from a brief meaningless quick home video montage of Frankie growing up. Yawn. There are so many ridiculous moments that will make most mentally check out and start thinking about where best to eat after the movie is finally finished. Halle Berry is just “okay” which is a letdown in and of itself. She’s better than what you’ll see. And the facial expression parade throughout looks more like a Jim Carrey sponsored facial muscle contest. Do not waste your time or money seeing this in theaters at full price…or even matinee price. It’s a dollar show or bust kind of movie.