KIDNAP – A Review by John Strange

Photo: Peter Iovino

KIDNAP – A Review by John Strange
Here is the premise for Kidnap: The mother of a bright cheerful young boy, receives a call from her lawyer.  He is informing her that her ex-husband is suing for full custody of the boy, Frankie (Sage Correa).  The woman, Karla Dyson (Halle Berry), makes some decisions during this call that leave her son vulnerable.  During a public concert at a park, she steps away from her son to take the call.  So far, not bad.  THEN she turns her back on her son.  This is STUPID.  It is human nature, her instinct is to protect her son but it also the worst possible thing.  And doing "Marco/Polo" periodically will not work under these circumstances.
Now this is a Halle Berry movie.  She is not going to let the bad guys get away with stealing her son.  She grabs hold of the kidnapper's car and is dragged across a parking lot trying to get the door open before finally being forced to let go.  She must be part superwoman as she suffers very few injuries from this.
Jumping into her minivan, she pursues the hotrod Mustang through traffic with no regard to the safety of others.  Her only desire is to save Frankie.  Everyone else is on their own. 
This film is almost entirely one big chase scene.  I lost count of the number of vehicles destroyed during the continuous race.  The kidnappers threaten Frankie with a knife at one point to make Karla back off.  It only works for a moment and then she is right back on their bumper.
I wish I could say that her tenacity was inspiring or exciting.  This film got on my nerves early on and never corrects the series stupid decisions she continues to make.  Only a screenwriter could give her the number of "lucky" breaks she receives.  Balance those lucky breaks against the probable deaths from all of the wrecks and I just could not enjoy the story.
In the end, regardless of how I personally felt about the story, it is the story about the strength of a mother's love for her child and her determination to save him from danger.  The audience loved the movie based on the screams, yelps, and laughter.  I wish I had. 
Directed by: Luis Prieto
Cast: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn
MPAA Rating: R
Selig Rating: C-
Runtime: 82 Min.
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.