THE CALL (15)
HALLE BERRY returns to the big screen in this (supposed to be taut) thriller about an emergency call operator, who has to face demons from the past in order to try to save a young woman who has been kidnapped by a serial killer.
And there are some excellent ingredients to this movie which well warrant a watch — a great premise, original idea, Silence of The Lambs-like atmosphere which cranks up the tension from the opening scene onwards, and a well picked cast who all know who they are meant to be, and why.
Mixing up the gender politics, we have a female lead playing the heroine and taking on the bad guy. And for a change, it is refreshing to see women refusing to be the victims and fighting back with a vengeance.
However… this film has one enormous fatal flaw which will leave you screaming at the screen, as I did, "Nooooo! She just wouldn't do that!"
Honestly, it has one of the worst endings I have ever seen in film. And sadly, any woman director would have sussed this straight away and not gone there, but director Brad Anderson and screenwriter Richard D'Ovidio obviously don't have a clue how any level headed woman would behave when faced with imminent danger and the result is a contrived, ridiculous ending which turns the film into an all out waste of time, and the good work which went before is completely eradicated with the final 15 minutes of crazy footage.
Halle Berry plays Jordan who earns her living as an extremely competent 911 call operator.
One dreadful mistake leads to the death of a young girl and much of the film looks at her coming to terms with the consequences of such a lethal failure.
Flash forward to a few years later and Jordan is confronted with a similar situation — a young girl (Abigail Breslin), has been kidnapped, thrown in the boot of a car and helplessly calls 911 from her mobile phone.
It is up to Jordan to relive her past and find a way of dealing with this situation which will result in a positive outcome.
Berry's performance is fine — it's thoughtful and believable and nicely infused with background depth. And her struggle with 'not getting personally involved' in her cases is delicately portrayed and sits at the heart of her performance.
This is a smart, resourceful woman, so why oh why then did she allow her belief in her character to be so completely destroyed by such a ridiculous ending? Whatever happened to star power?
Honest to God woman, you had the chance to create an iconic female role model, aka Sarah Connor, and you let the script totally blow it.
So, if you are thinking of giving up your leisure time and your hard earned money to go and see this movie, take some advice and sit through the first hour, which gets four out five stars, and will have you on the edge of your seat.
Then leave half an hour before the end and make up your own ending on your way home.
Because, believe me, it will be a lot more satisfy than watching the original one.