Wasn’t this film supposed to come out two years ago?

The answer is, yes. Kidnap bounced from one film distribution company to the next, but never went anywhere until this year and, surprisingly, the movie isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It brought in decent numbers during its opening weekend by coming in fifth at the box office. That’s not bad for a Halle Berry movie, especially since she hasn’t had a hit since, well, Monsters Ball.

The premise is simple enough: A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son. Why did he get kidnapped in the first place? Parental negligence, of course. At the country fair, Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) leaves her 6-year old son Frankie (Sage Correa) alone for three minutes while she takes a phone call. Yes, in this day and age, parents are still leaving their children alone in public places–but how else would the plot move forwaed without an asinine inciting incident?

After her child goes missing, it’s a race against time as she hunts for the culprits in a minivan that only goes about 65 miles per hour. The story never elaborates on why her child is kidnapped. The audience is to assume it’s greed, or that these degenerates are collecting children for a trafficking ring. This is disappointing, as a bit more explanation may have made the film a bit more engaging.

One thing the film does have going for it is the smart choices Karla makes after her child is gone. The way she lures the kidnappers into the traps she sets, her quick thinking, and her trusting her gut instincts all play a part in returning her child to safety. Kudos to making Karla smarter than the average female character in a lifetime movie-of-the-month.

Overall, the movie is pretty unremarkable.  It’s so basic I wasn’t invested enough to notice too much beyond Halle Berry. For an entire 84 minutes, I sat in the theater wondering why she chose to participate in this.  I guess, if for nothing else, it was good to see the actress doing something.

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