The Call (R) - Runtime: 94 minutes
Starring: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin
Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Richard D'Ovidio
After hearing so much praise about this movie, which to me, looked atrocious, I had to pick this one up. I was skeptical - the trailer for this movie had a callback from earlier in the trailer (about 60 seconds), like somehow we would forget what we saw or that the audience is too stupid to pick up the clue. And while I did enjoy most of the movie, the ending was so terrible that it negated the rest of the movie for me.
Halle Berry is a veteran 911 operator who gets too involved in a call when she accidentally alerts the killer that the girl she was on the phone with is still in the house. A few days later her body is found and she loses all her shit and is forced into just training the poor, naive saps who are willing to answer these desperate calls for help. But when push comes to shove, she helps out the killer's next victim, who's been kidnapped and put in the trunk of a car.
I enjoyed the movie - it's really just a glorified version of Criminal Minds or Law and Order pretty much - which isn't a bad thing, it's just that The Call won't blow your mind or make you think you're seeing something special. Halle Berry does a good job being bat-shit crazy - she seems on the verge of a panic attack or actually in one throughout the movie and her hair, I feel, represents this craziness metaphorically.
The movie moves briskly and the ending comes along before you know it. SPOILER: The ending is either the most brilliant ending or the most head shaking. I choose the latter. Because Halle Berry figures out where the killer is after the police have gone and left. Now I can buy the fact that they searched the cabin and found nothing, but you don't think they would have done some more digging around and found out that there's a nuclear bunker on the premises? Whatever, that's not the problem here. The problem is that Halle Berry finds the dude out, knocks him unconscious and rescues the girl. Call the police and end credits, right? NOPE. They FUCKING LEAVE THE DUDE CHAINED UP IN THE BUNKER. You don't think he's going to somehow get out? Yeah, those chains look pretty tight y'all, but he probably has A LOT of time on his hands to figure out a way to get out. He has killing tools that might be handy enough to get him out. Plus just the fact that the movie doesn't deal with the consequences of this action pisses me off. You don't think Halle Berry isn't going to lose sleep wondering if the dude's alive or not? Or that she circumvented the law and brought forth her own justice? What about the kid? They're always going to be looking over their shoulder. Now here's where I think there's a small chance this could be brilliant. If they make a sequel where Halle Berry has to deal with these consequences when the serial killer gets out (and you know he will) or if they turned the tables and Halle Berry (I can't just say her first or last name, it has to be together) becomes like, Dexter and they make a TV show or something where she gets tips from the 911 calls and starts to kill off all these bad guys. That would make sense. But my judgement, from just this movie alone, is that it sucks. It sucks so so hard. END OF SPOILERS.
I'd recommend this movie, simply because it was fun to watch and I think most people won't mind the ending like I did. It's really just a nicer, more polished version of any number of TV procedurals like Law and Order. Plus you can make fun of Halle Berry's hair throughout. It's fun, trust me.
Rating: Rent It!