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Review: Kidnap

Halle Berry stars in Aviron Pictures' KIDNAP

We know that Kidnap won’t be bringing large audiences to theaters. Just by looking at the poster, you can safely assume that it’s not the kind of movie that will get a ton of attention or even good reviews. After watching it myself, I can’t say that it deserves either one of those things, but I will point out that you’ll see worse movies this year and anytime in the future. Then again, there’s a chance that you won’t be entertained as much from some of the top-notch movies that will be released as you are when watching this unbelievable B movie extravaganza.

The story is a simple one that tells the tale of a desperate mother (Halle Berry) trying to do whatever she can to get her son back from kidnappers. What started out as an attempt to create a joyous day turns into a period of fear that sees her enter a high speed chase to keep up with the people who have taken her only child. From there, her fear can only build as she’s tested in a way that few in life could ever be.

When looking at what Kidnap is and how much it was made for, it’s understandable why the award winning actress would be so crucial to the movie. Without her, it probably doesn’t get made. Halle Berry isn’t a great actress by any means, and through much of the earliest parts of Kidnap, it appeared like they made a mistake in casting her. The film was taking itself somewhat seriously at this point and I felt like she was actually holding it back from being an inventive thriller.

Her performance up until this point is certainly what hurts it the most, but things drastically changed out of nowhere. What started out as a missed opportunity to make a great little thrill ride thanks to her turned into something totally insane. Once that occurs, the casting of Hale Berry actually made even more sense. And I’m not saying any of this to insult her believe or not. I actually appreciate that she tries as hard as she does in this movie. While she isn’t very good and it will ultimately be for nothing, she takes it seriously and gives her all.

Anyway, to put it all into perspective, I’ll say that Kidnap is what would happen if the Lifetime network made their own version of a Fast and Furious movie. But instead of having a buff street racing mechanic at its center, it would feature a suburban soccer mom blasting her way through traffic. To completely imitate that, all they needed to do was talk about family more and have her joined by a few other soccer moms slicing through traffic along with her. Yeah, I definitely wasn’t expecting anything like this to take place, but a part of me is glad that this is the direction that it went in.

Kidnap starts off fast and gets crazy as we find out that the van that she’s driving is just as invincible as anything Dominic Toretto and the rest of his “family” has ever driven. Not only is her van indestructible, she herself is as unbreakable as many of the superheroes that we see in movies these days. Due to my love for realism in most cases, I would usually see this as a negative in something like this. However, you can’t help but have fun with it. There’s not much in here that’s worth anything here, but it’s hard not to have a good time watching this thing.

On that level, this movie works better than I thought it would. It’s something you could watch in the theater, but it would feel almost wrong if you don’t watch it at home since it feels kind of like a movie you might watch at three in the morning as you battle a bad case of insomnia. On the other hand, if for some reason you decide to see it in theaters, see it with as many of your friends as possible. That way, you can laugh together and have a blast talking about what it is you just saw.

In reality, I don’t think there will be too many people interested in seeing this. Seeing as how it’s the kind of movie you can’t take seriously and isn’t really being promoted, I can certainly understand why. However, if you do give this a chance, you likely won’t regret it even if you end up thinking that it’s terrible. Although I wouldn’t be able to completely disagree, I still had fun with it and don’t regret checking it out at least once.

Rating: R

Director: Luis Prieto

Halle Berry
Sage Correa
Lew Temple
Chris McGinn
Dana Gourrie
Jason Winston George

Film Length: 81 minutes

Release Date: August 4, 2017

Distributor: Aviron Pictures

  • Score - 6/10
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