Halle Berry is back on the big screen and playing a desperate mother who is determined to bring her child home after he has been kidnapped in the new film Kidnap. The film from Luis Prieto and the producers of the film SALT and TRANSFORMERS bring us this little number. Halle Berry plays Karla Dyson and single mom who is just scraping by. One day after an outing to the park he son is abducted and her average day slowly turns into a nightmare as she jumps in her mini van and chases down her son's kidnappers.
The idea behind the film isn't a bad one and let's be honest if this was you and your child, we would all be grabbing our keys and be going after these guys, but I feel like out execution of the chase may have played out differently. I found myself spending way too much time during this film rolling my eyes and getting more annoyed with Berry's character by the minute. She stumbles with her choices at every turn and while I understand that she is a scared mom who is under a lot of pressure she is just too passive is many of the scenes. The phrase, "If you mess with my kid, you will bring out my inner mama bear." doesn't come from nowhere and if you touched my kid I am gonna go seven shades of crazy on your ass. Her plan of attack dramatically improves about 3/4 of the way through the film, but getting to that point is brutal and frustrating. I just expect more from a desperate mom. Like the kind of desperate that can pick up a car off their child after an accident kind of response. Halle Berry falls short of that in so many ways for me.
Now to be fair, this film did fair a lot better for me than what I anticipated it to be. However, I did keep the bar pretty low. It is an average action flick with its main character bumbling through the majority of the film, while the bad guy always has the edge for no good reason. There are several places where the tides could turn, but I am sure the film makers were not ready to say that's a wrap at the 30 minute mark of the film, so while I understand the need to draw these things out, I just wish they would have tweaked the script to give us a less passive protagonist in the beginning half of the film. Halle Berry has had her share of action films before so I know she is more than capable. In the end, the film was just satisfactory, but nothing really special for me.
Overall we scored Kidnap with a D+ for bringing us this scattered and sloppy action flick. Maybe in the future Berry can find a way to channel her inner Storm, but in this film, she just misses the mark.
Kidnap opens in theaters everywhere August 4th.