Friday, August 4, 2017

Halle Berry fuels Luis Prieto's alternately pulse-pounding and stupid thriller, KIDNAP

Come on, admit it: Sometimes a really good bad movie can be a lot of fun. The most current example is KIDNAP, a film in which Halle Berry plays a beleaguered mother for whom it is not enough that her ex is trying to take all custody away from her. When she turns her back for a couple of minutes, her son is summarily kidnapped (and not, unfortunately, by his dad).

That the audience at the screening TrustMovies attended-- made up mostly of the general public, with a few of us critics scattered throughout  -- was alternately gasping and laughing aloud (the film is not a comedy) should give you some idea of the bizarre nonsense embedded here. This is 94 minutes of ridiculous but often exciting fun.

The director here is Luis Prieto (shown at right), and the screenwriter is Knate Lee (of the Jackass movies and Bad Grandpa, so provenance does count for something). Prieto does a bang-up job with the action, of which there is plenty, but within that action comes most of the stupidity, as well. I'll just make reference to a single scene, in which our heroine, who looks to weigh in at about 85 pounds, over-powers a huge woman who must weigh maybe 250 or more, while being choked to death in the front seat of her car, from which she manages to eject the huge woman who is, yes, behind her in the back seat. (Berry's character manages a similarly bizarre feat, much later in the film, while underwater.)

If you can believe shit like this, you'll swallow, I guess, just about anything -- including the scene in which Ms Berry puts her car in reverse, backs up onto a major highway with the traffic coming toward her at least 60 miles per hour... and does not get hit.

What? You thought you'd stumbled into a sneak preview of the Wonder Woman sequel. 'Fraid not. Still, gasping and then laughing together in a packed theater is not the worst experience in the world. So, if you've an appetite for this kind of thing, by all means indulge it.

Ms Berry looks stunning, as per usual, and the villains are as naughty and nasty as you could wish, while the young actor who plays Berry's son is properly adorable.

While one might question the intentions of an entertainment based around the kidnapping and possible death (and who knows what else prior to that) of a vulnerable child, we're now in the world of Trumpland, after all. So grit your teeth and bear up. (This film, I am told by a fellow critic, is actually three years old, having been stuck in bankruptcy limbo, because of the demise of its former distributor).

Opening nationwide today, Friday, August 4, Kidnap (now being given to us via Aviron Pictures) can be seen all across the country. Click here to find the theater(s) nearest you.

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