Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Richard D'Ovidio
Starring: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin
Release Date: March 15, 2013
DVD Release Date: June 25, 2013
Rated: R for violence, disturbing content and some language
Synopsis from IMDb:
Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is an experienced 911 operator but when she makes an error in judgment and a call ends badly, Jordan is rattled and unsure if she can continue. But then teenager Casey Wilson (Abigail Breslin) is abducted in the back of a man's car and calls 911. And Jordan is the one called upon to use all of her experience, insights and quick thinking to help Casey escape, and not just to save Casey, but to make sure the man is brought to justice. Written by napierslogs
To be honest, I wasn't expecting a whole lot going into The Call. I like Halle Berry alright and think she usually makes some pretty good choices movie-wise, but the trailers for this movie definitely made it seem a bit...meh. I'm not going to say I was blown away by The Call, but it was better than I was expecting and it certainly made me jump a couple of times.
The movie starts off with a bit of a bang. Halle's character, Jordan, is a operator for the LAPD. She's obviously comfortable at her job and has an airiness that is punctuated by her relationship with an LAPD officer that comes to see her on her dinner break. Within the first couple of minutes of the film she receives a call from a terrified teen who is alone in the house and hears somebody breaking in. Jordan helps the teen hide in her house while making it look like she climbed out the window and it seems to work when the bad man begins making his way back out of the house. When the line goes dead, Jordan panics and, without thinking, hits the re-connect button on her screen which calls the teen back. The ringing cordless phone alerts the baddie where the teen is hiding and he murders her. Feeling responsible for her death, Jordan crumbles under the pressure of her job and doesn't know if she can continue.
After this set-up, the film jumps to six months later and into the main story. Jordan is still working at the LAPD call center, but now as a trainer. She gets to still be a part of the system that raised her (her father was an officer, as well), without having to strap on the headset she is now terrified to wear. Of course, she ends up having to do just that when as she and her trainees stop at a call station to talk to a newbie operator, the newbie gets a call that she is too ill-equipped to handle from a teenager who has been abducted and stuffed into the trunk of a car. Jordan takes the newbie's place and finds herself once again on the other end of a call where a teen girl's life is at stake.
Overall, The Call truly is a decent movie. Jordan directs the teen, Casey (Abigail Breslin), to do some pretty smart things in order to draw attention to the car. There are definitely some unrealistic moments, but these types of films will always ask for you to suspend your belief. Both Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin do a great job in their rolls. Halle plays Jordan with a believable vulnerability after her trauma. Breslin, who I just find so likeable, does a great job as the scared teen struggling to stay alive. The baddie played by Michael Eklund brings the movie down a bit. Eklund plays the psychopath as a slack-jawed bumbler, which was off-putting and weird.
The film is dragged down by the ridiculous third act after Jordan and Casey are disconnected and Jordan begins to physically search out Casey, as the audience we knew this would eventually happen. If you've ever seen a movie in this genre, you know what's coming...and if you haven't than the previews for this movie tell you it will. I wouldn't go so far as to say the movie collapses in the third act, but it does fall into the same old, same old and the ending is a bit ludicrous--like endings of this genre often are. With the mostly stellar cast and fairly smart writing throughout the beginning and middle parts of the film, I was hoping for a bit more, but I didn't get it.
The Call is a perfectly fun way to spend a couple of hours, especially now that it is out on DVD. It is a popcorn film with a few decent scares that is slightly elevated due to the acting of Berry and Breslin.