HALLE BERRY   ABIGAIL BRESLIN

THE CALL

 In my opinion Halle Berry hasn’t starred in a decent film since the hardly seen or remembered Things We Lost in the Fire from 2007. Berry might be an Oscar winner, but she is also one of the most resented and overrated actresses who lands roles due to beauty and popularity, not talent. The Call, however, has some pretty interesting elements and surprises to it, even if most of the twists are completely ridiculous; at least this film wants to be different. Not to mention the rarity of having a thriller with two female leading roles; Oscar nominee Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland) hasn’t been this good since she was dancing “Super Freak” on stage as a kid.

  911 Operator Jordon Turner (Berry) has let the emotionally demanding and stressful job get to her. When a young girl’s body is found after she took the 911 call and tried to help the girl hide, Jordon asks to be transferred to the instruction portion of the job. Six months later while showing around a group of new operators, Jordon is asked to help with a call that is strangely familiar. A young girl has been abducted and locked inside a car trunk on a track phone that can’t be traced. Jordon wants to make sure she does everything in her power to get it right this time.  

  With fast paced thrillers dealing in real life situations there are always going to be oversights and mistakes. However, in The Call there are a few notable mistakes that seemed pretty important to just overlook. In one scene, a passenger car spots the vehicle the police are frantically looking for and we hear the lady say the make and model of the car, yet one scene later Jordon again says the make and model is unknown. Other excruciating “it’s just a movie” moments happen throughout that will have you screaming at the screen. I can’t decide if that’s part of the fun or if there were just severe lapses in the script and direction.

  “Never make promises, because you can’t keep them,” Jordon tells the newbie operators. Of course she wouldn’t be saying that if the movie wasn’t planning on her breaking the rule. So if we can pick out all the implausible situations in the movie, does it ruin the suspense? I don’t think so. Every minute the phone call lasts is one more we are in suspense. Everyone is condemning the film because of that third act, after the phone call is finally over. Berry does seem to find herself in a Clarice Starling/Silence of the Lambs situation, and the fact that the 911 operator is there in the first place is ridiculous, but even though this ending is preposterous, they do get points for trying something different.

Final Thought – The suspense, as ridiculous as it is, does hold your attention.

 Grade B-

By: Dustin Chase