Aug 03

Thriller Movie Review: Kidnap

Kidnap:  Every Parent’s Horror Movie

In the US, a child goes missing every 40 seconds. You never think it will happen to you. Until it does. Alone and scared, Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) is unwilling to leave the fate of her son’s life in someone else’s hands. When she catches a glimpse of the abductors speeding away, she decides to fight back. In a heart pounding race against time, Karla begins a high speed pursuit and will stop at nothing to save her son’s life. Written by

Remember that time you stepped off to the side in the store to take a kind of important call and you got so engrossed you took your eyes of your child for more than a couple of minutes?  Yep.  That’ was Halle Berry’s mistake in Kidnap.  But boy, does she make up for it, if I may say, in spades.

Berry plays single mother Karla Dyson, who’s set up in the movie is done quite well.  She works at a diner in a thankless waitress job, as demonstrated by one snooty patron, and is looking forward to a well deserved break at an amusement park with her son, Frankie. But what should be an idyllic afternoon between mother and son turns into the worst of nightmares, as Frankie is spirited away under his mother’s nose and she’s helpless to stop it.

The film is non-stop action.  The moment Frankie is stuffed into that car, Halle Berry goes full tiger mom mode.  Without stopping to call the police, she makes an attempt at stopping the kidnapping right away and chases the villain’s car in her minivan.  This begins a cat-and-mouse game, which keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire movie.

The story is told from Halle’s point of view and that’s all the insight we need.  In such an impossible situation, she knows the police will move too slowly and that it’s up to her to save her son.  She digs deep down and finds the strength to chase her son and his kidnappers all the way into the Louisiana countryside.

Halle carries most of the movie, both in talking to herself and screaming in frustration at the kidnappers.  As a mother, I felt her pain every step of the way.  Not many people want to see a child in danger or hurt, and it was harrowing to see Halle’s near misses at getting Frankie back.  Though the villain remains unseen for most of the movie, just the fact they’ve kidnapped a kid launches them into full-on villain status.  There are no gray areas in this movie, and Halle is justified in the things she does.

It’s also refreshing to see a woman of color in a lead role in a thriller.  Instead of playing the “girlfriend” or the “woman who sits home and frets”, she takes an active role in reclaiming her child.  Digging deep for the reserves of power and ingenuity within her, there’s nothing she won’t do to get him back.  I simply love how she goes all out in pursuit.  No minivan ever has seen such action!!

For steady movie goers – you won’t see anything new in this movie.  However, Halle puts a fresh spin on the “child in peril” movie and seriously owns some of the scenes in it.  Is it a great movie?  Not at all, but it is entertaining, and isn’t that what we go to the movies for?

All in all an effective thriller with great car chases and a heroine you can root for.












No children were hurt or harmed in the film.  There are some scary situations, yes, but no children were harmed.

You may also enjoy: