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|Index||269 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Last night I saw The Call. First of all I would like to say that this
is a movie that will break every nerve in your body, it will disturb
you, it will frighten you but you will not look away, and you will want
more and more and more. It has been a while since I have seen a movie
1) The story & acting. Just like every other thriller/crime the story is known and seen a thousand times. Abduction, killings, psychopathology etc. But what really makes this fresh and new are the characters. It is nice to see Halle Berry after a long time. Her character is extremely atypical. She is a 911 call operator that breaks every rule written. So, having a main character so atypical is interesting and a bit odd but it works perfectly. Her performance is great. She understands the character and one can really feel what she feels and what she thinks. Breslin did a good job, quite decent but nothing special, her character is a typical abducted teenager that is a good comparison to the atypical Berry. The balance between the two is done so perfectly that time just seems to pass without us noticing. The thrills and chills keep one on the edge of the seat, gripping the chair/sofa and just wanting to see how the terror will end. Now, the ending was a blast. Somewhere close to the end it becomes a great cliché but that feeling passes almost instantly. The way the story ends is not only innovative, it is ingenious and you just love it. The rest of the cast and crew are really good they do their part nicely, but there really isn't much more to the story or characters that what Berry and Breslin gave.
2) The music. Now, this is a prototype of how watching horror movies scares you. It is not the image itself but the music. Very few classical notes and tunes except when a jump-scare is intended (and it is done beautifully), instead we are presented with a tech/rave note. And it fits the scenes brilliantly.
This fast paced, breathtaking thriller is a jewel today. Many other movies have tried to be like this, and have failed - badly. The Call is definitely worth watching, it is a good way of showing how to combine horror jump-scares with a crime thriller, and the result is innovative and entertaining. A bit of warning, it is bloody, violent, scary but it delivers what it promised. A bit of advice - do not watch the trailer before the movie - it ruins a lot of the good parts.
For most of this film, the movie rattles along, engrossingly, with
plenty of drama and eye catching action.
The story is about a call center in the emergency services of a major city specifically when a kidnap is involved. The highlight of the film is phone conversations between a call center worker and a kidnap victim.
The "baddie" in the film is Michael Eklund, whose performance steals the show. My only disappointed is how the story 'ends' which to me is slightly ludicrous. Minus two for that. But we may get 'The Call 2', so plus one, hence:
(56%) An effective little cop thriller/horror with a unique in-depth look at a seldom seen aspect of law enforcement that really does highlight how difficult a job dealing with in-coming emergency calls can be in life and death situations. Berry gives a strong, very focused performance in the lead role, and young Breslin plays a terrified kidnap victim perfectly that does get somewhat disturbing at times. I didn't really have a big problem with the so-called problem ending as the movie up to that point wasn't exactly flawless, so it didn't ruin anything and was nothing that bad, in-fact I kind of liked it. As far as I'm concerned this is well worth a watch.
For the most part, The Call is a nicely efficient and relatively
effective thriller. Unfortunately, it all unravels in a final third
which belongs in some other movie.
Halle Berry is Jordan, a 911 Operator. We're introduced to her during a sequence which involves several emergency calls over one night. These early scenes are particularly effective as the call-centre environment and the operator routines are showcased.
One particular emergency call leads to a bad experience for Jordan and, as per Screen-writing 101, it is this backstory that Jordan will need to confront and overcome over the course of the movie. Fast-forward a few months and the opportunity presents itself: a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) has been kidnapped and thrown into the trunk of a car.
If you can overlook the fact that the kidnapper has decided to leave his captive with a fully-functioning cell-phone, you're well on your way to enjoying the next 60 minutes of frantic conversation between Berry and Breslin.
Unfortunately, I can make no guarantee that you'll enjoy the final half hour where the film seems to tire of its own conventions and ditches the call-centre angle completely.
No more phones, no more frantic conversations, no more tight- plotting. Instead we veer sharply into horror territory and the well-worn routines of a Silence of the Lambs rehash.
Just to round things off and make you forget about the earlier subtle moments, the climax is so overblown and illogical that it could make you feel foolish for ever being intrigued as to how this story would end.
As a whole, The Call is quite a lot of fun. It's just a shame that the writers didn't have the courage to see out its initial format to the end.
When it was announced that WWE was staring a film company, like most, I thought it was a joke. After some success with films like the Marine and 12 Rounds, the company earned some legitimacy and with it comes bigger talent and better Directors. The Call is the first WWE film that doesn't star a wrestler, and it was every bit as good as any Hollywood thriller that was released last year. Halle Berry stars as a 911 operator, whose worse nightmare is realized, when a kidnapping victim calls in from the trunk of a serial killers car. From there, the Call becomes 90 minutes of pure, non-stop intensity. It's hard to imagine a film that features a girl in a trunk and a woman in a call center, being as entertaining as it was, but that's where the experienced Hollywood talent comes into play. Halle Berry is not someone I consider to be a terrific actress, but she surprised me, by playing a character who had to overcome emotion and think on her feet. It quickly becomes evident that going by the book will lead to this girls death, and the operator comes up with some pretty novel ideas about how to deal with the situation. The supporting cast, which does feature an active WWE superstar, is also very good in assisting with the statewide manhunt. This film was really on pace to be one of my favorite films of the year until the ending. It was very strange, but the film gets to a certain point and then just ends. There may not have been much more of the story to tell, but the way it ended made me feel like I left the theater a few minutes early to answer an important phone call or something. It maybe a small thing to some, but to me, it really took a lot away from an otherwise terrific film. The Call is not that original, outside of the particular situation, it's a type of film you've seen many times over. It is however intense, fast paced, very entertaining, and most definitely worth the price of admission.
I first watched this movie,at my house... and i gotta say I've seen a
few kidnapping movies, where they missed the point and the movies were
horrible... but i figured id give this one a chance, seeming as 2 of my
favorite actresses are in it.. Halle berry and Abigal Breslin ..
I gotta say this movie exceeded my expectations.. i was totally impressed with the performances as well, Halle berry once again an amazing performance, and Abigale really surprised me with hers, i really felt how afraid she was, she was outstanding in this movie!
Job well done by everyone :):) would 150% recommend this movie <3 AMAZING
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A veteran 911 operator (Halle Berry) blames herself for the death
during an abduction. She gets the chance to redeem herself, when she
gets another call from a kidnapped girl (Abigail Breslin)
The first thought that commenced in my mind, was how WWE managed to cajole Halle Berry to star in one of their productions? Well it paid off. This is by far the best movie WWE Studio's has produced. It's highly derivative (Silence of The Lambs comes to mind) but it's quite polished and well made. I was also surprised by the high amount of suspense. Giving how derivative it is, it delivered some quality thrills. The first half Is a bit better than the second one. The first half has some terrific build-up. Halle Berry is great in her role, and I was highly involved in her plight. You feel her suffering, which haunts her for most of the film. Abigail Breslin is one of the best young actors going today. She gave a phenomenal performance for her age, and she feels so poised and mature. I was on her side the whole way, and was hoping for her to escape her predicament. The killer (Michael Eklund) does a very good job at being a sick prick. Morris Chestnut has a rather awkward romance with Halle Berry, whilst David Otunga (WWE fame) does OK as Chestnut's partner. The ending was rather disappointing. It felt quite contrived, and deviated from the path this movie was going on. I get they wanted to give their audience their money's worth, but it was phony to me
Final Thoughts: Not the best thriller of the year like Vince McMahon claims, but pretty damn solid. You've seen It done before, but it's very adroitly done. Recommended
The Call is a tense thriller that fully explores and delivers on its
premise. Everything feels like it's happening before us. Solving one
problem creates another and time always seems to be running out. I
watched this with my family and it was so gripping that they became
totally responsive to it. They were covering their eyes, flinching and
screaming at the television at different points.
Thriller movie elements aside, director Brad Anderson brings the audience inside the world of police procedures and emergency call centers. It is well researched and minute with its real world details. The things that we don't like to know or look at in real life crimes and murders are drawn as a source of tension. The stress and emotional detachment that is required in being an emergency operator is incorporated dramatically into the story. Together this washes away the genre conventions of a typical cop film and instead feels like we are looking into the lives of real-life police officers handling crime.
This is not Halle Berry's most demanding performance but she does effectively transport the audience into her plight. Berry plays a lot of emotions despite being confined at a desk for a majority of the film. It's a very pronounced performance. Morris Chestnut seems too aware of himself to really convince me of his character. It seems like he's always detached from his own environment. There's a bit of a sick pleasure in watching Abigail Breslin being kidnapped because she was so profoundly annoying in Definitely Maybe. That's probably me being mean. But here, Breslin plays the situation very real. Michael Eklund is convincingly creepy as the scene-stealing villain. The scariest thing about serial killers or murderers in real life is that nobody ever looks like a serial killer. They all appear as normal people and are protected by the benefit of the doubt. Eklund's character practically shifts the film into horror film territory.
As it moved toward to the finale, even on the very edge of my seat, I was still secretly wishing for something to really wow me at the end. I don't know if it was because I liked The Machinist and developed an expectation from Brad Anderson. There were about two three ways the story could have finished that would have been fine, but nothing mind-bending. But it did deliver. My secret wish was fulfilled. The finale to The Call is a gutsy, left-turn ending that pulled the rug right under me. As it went to black, my mouth went agape pondering about what the fates of all the characters.
With the current trend of long running two-hour films, any film that has the discipline to wrap up around 90 minutes is praiseworthy. There is no fat to be trimmed here. The Call might be a film that goes unnoticed under the radar with its lower budget and hype. I saw it on DVD myself. It is the tensest movie I've seen this year. Hopefully there's less lag time from now till Brad Anderson's next project.
For more reviews, please visit my film blog @ http://hkauteur.wordpress.com
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning
** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is a veteran 911 call operator who is plagued with guilt after a young girl who phoned her in distress was abducted and murdered. However, some time later she finds herself in a similar situation when a girl named Casey (Abigail Breslin) rings, trapped in the trunk of her abductor (Michael Eklund.) When Jordan learns he is the same man responsible for the death of the other girl, she must summon all her courage and resolve to stop history repeating itself.
It's a wonder the idea of someone phoning the emergency services, an action spurred on by no motivation other than to escape immediate, terrifying danger, hasn't been explored before in the device of a thriller. The reasoning can only seem to be that such a simple, everyday human thing maybe wasn't seen as 'high concept' enough to provide the sort of far out situations that Hollywood likes to dream up, when all along it's been one of the most obvious and inspired ideas for a film. The result is The Call, a film that, like the best of them, is relentlessly preposterous but still effectively thrilling and undeniably keeps you on the edge of your seat through-out.
In his first feature length, big screen outing after a career directing various episodes of hit TV shows, Brad Anderson applies the modern touch to this real time thrill ride, with stop motion filming sequences and flashy editing techniques that fail to detract from the impact of the film. He has a strong, resilient female lead in Berry, who fits the bill perfectly and is matched by a suitably unhinged, demented looking psychopath in Eklund. The film subtly moves from the hostage crisis at hand to the darker, more uncomfortably twisted territory of the mind of a serial killer which, while harder to stomach, still adds to the overall impact of the film.
At times, the loose ends and plot holes, the least of which not being why he doesn't just check to see if the girl has a cell phone with her, really get at you and are hard to pass by. But this is easily over looked by the unremittingly tense atmosphere of the film and the nice, inventive touches it's littered with through out that make it a superior thriller we need more of these days. ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As the credits rolled on The Call I felt it was nothing new. A thriller
of standard calibre, it employed predictable clichés and tension which
fizzled out before it terrified audiences.
Traumatized by a botched attempt to save a teenage girl 911 operator Jordan Turner (Hallie Berry) finds herself in a similar situation trying to save Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) from crazed psychotic Michael (Michael Eklund) who has a past history of abducting teenage girls. From there-on-in Jordan is thrown into a pursuing chase between police authorities and Michael. Since audiences experience The Call through Jordan with a majority of her scenes set in a 911 Dispatch Centre, Hallie Berry had responsibility to convey high-tense emotions and relatability. Despite offering Jordan a kind-hearted motherly quality, always trying to soothe Casey's panic, dramatically speaking Berry could not convinced me which made it hard to connect with Jordan. Same can to be said of Abigail Breslin. The only reason I sympathised with Casey was the dire circumstances she found herself in. Desperately trying to escape the crutches of a psychopath is quite understandable. Though Breslin's acting brought nothing else to her character's scenario.
The person who deserves high praise is Michael Eklund. He created a strong presence as an unbalanced murderer prettified of losing control. His frantic and leering mannerisms increased under pressure thus increasing his presence. Eklund never failed to veer away from his character's persona which made The Call somewhat watchable. Eklund's acting gave The Call more tension than the narrative itself tried to. Numerous clichés from Casey trying to attract attention, Jordan dealing with her emotions and will Michael be exposed or not? It has been done before to the point where I was second guessing what happen next.
Even when The Call tried to surprise us with a twist ending it was unrealistic towards characterisation and lacked true substance, one more reason why The Call is a thriller of standard calibre.
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