Halle Berry plays Karla Dyson, a struggling mom trying to care for her son. Suddenly, her world is turned upside down as her child is abruptly kidnapped. The rest of the film is an intense but tedious journey to save her child.
The beginning ten minutes of the movie is a weak attempt at character development. Literally, this is the only character development in the entire film. With those first ten minutes, you get awkward and typical banter between her and her son, and the writing is rough and robotic. I had a sense that the writers of the film were trying to push this dialogue out so that they can get to the action faster. Also, in a scene where Halle Berry and her son are talking in the car, the ADR is very obvious and almost laughable. This is a crippling decision made, because the rest of the movie suffers because of the lacking connection between Halle Berry and the audience.
After her son is kidnapped you get into the meat of the film: driving. This is the biggest problem with the film by far. There is an extremely extended amount of time where Halle Berry is crying to herself in a car. The editing is very rough, with too many cuts for basic scenes.This portion is exciting at first, but runs out of steam quickly. Sadly, this is basically the entire film until the last 20 minutes.
One semi-redeeming factor to the film is the end. With no spoilers, the film picks up pace and has some tense moments. The ending scenes felt like the electric paddle shock to try to resurrect the movie, but as soon as you start gaining interest again, it is over.
Kidnap is a film that gives no rest to the viewer by constantly keeping the level of tension 100%. This doesn’t work well because it quickly becomes repetitive and lacking in character development. All I knew when I left the theater was that Halle Berry was a concerned mom trying to save her child. This movie could have at least been a fun action flick for this summer quarter, but the lagging middle of the film kept it from fun.