Child abduction. That’s the subject of the 2017 thriller “Kidnap” (R, 1:34) and it really is every parent’s worst nightmare.
The bad news is that about 800,000 children are abducted each year in the U.S. alone. The good news is that 97% of those kids are recovered. (Both statistics come from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.)
But if it’s your child who has been abducted, statistics are irrelevant. This issue suddenly becomes very, very personal. You may ask, “Who could do such a thing?”. The unfortunate answer is many different kinds of people for many different reasons.
Family members may abduct a child in order to separate him/her from a parent, often as part of a custody disagreement. When a stranger kidnaps a child, it can be for any of a number of reasons, including (according to Wikipedia) extortion (ransom), illegal adoption (for the kidnapper to raise the child as his/her own or to or to sell the child to someone else), human trafficking / exploitation (slavery, forced labor, sexual abuse, illegal organ trading), or, because the abductor simply intends to murder the child.
Of course, at the moment a child is taken, the reason isn’t nearly as important to the parent as getting the child back safe and sound. That’s the situation Halle Berry’s character finds herself in for most of this movie.
Now, since my reviews don’t contain spoilers, I won’t reveal why her child was kidnapped (although I’ll admit that it is for one of the reasons above) or how it all turns out, but I will say that it’s all very dramatic.
Karla Dyson (Berry) is a struggling single mother. She’s working as a waitress and raising her 6-year-old son, Frankie (Sage Correa). Karla is separated from her husband and dreading a custody battle that seems to be just around the corner.
One fine Louisiana day when she gets off work, she takes her son to a public park, where there’s some sort of carnival going on. After watching Frankie enjoy the playground for a while, Karla takes him to see an outdoor magic show.
When she gets a phone call from her lawyer, she steps away from her seat to talk to him, but looks over her shoulder repeatedly to check on Frankie. When she finishes her call and returns to her seat, Frankie is missing.
After calling out to him several times, she begins a frantic search of the area, but can’t find anyone who has seen her son. Then, she sees him. In the parking lot, Karla catches a glimpse of someone shoving the boy into an old Mustang.
Karla is as emotional and tenacious as you would expect a mother in her situation to be. She runs after the kidnapper’s car as it starts to drive away, hanging onto the car as long as she could (and losing her cell phone in the process).
Then, Karla jumps in her minivan and begins desperately chasing the abductor’s car. She chases it through city streets and on a highway, but has to make an impossible choice when someone in the Mustang rolls down the window, points at the exit and holds a knife to Frankie’s throat.
No matter what happens and what Frankie’s kidnapper does, Karla refuses to give up her pursuit. Further threats to the boy’s safety, car crashes, a motorcycle cop who misreads the situation, a dangerous confrontation with the kidnapper, an errant AMBER Alert, running out of gas, an understaffed police station none of it stops this determined mother, until the film’s twisted ending.
Watch “Kidnap” movies online is an exciting and emotional thriller. The action is virtually non-stop, with some big surprises along the way. The screenplay by Knate Gwaltney (better known as Knate Lee, writer of “Bad Grandpa”!) and the direction of Luis Pietro (2012’s “Pusher”) give us a creative combination of the “Fast and the Furious” movies and 1997’s under-appreciated “Breakdown”.
Halle (who is one of the film’s producers) gives us the vulnerability and panicked intensity that she brought to the similarly-themed 2013 thriller “The Call”. Of course, this time the child abduction is much more personal to her character as a mother than as a 9-1-1 operator, but she appropriately amps up her performance to match the situation.
Unfortunately, the supporting actors aren’t very good, nor is the dialog, featuring lines like “you took the wrong kid”, isn’t especially strong, but the movie’s plot points, action and acting make for a harrowing, but rewarding cinematic experience. “B+”
Source: Dave McClain – imdb