Thursday, October 30, 2014

Quick Cut Review - "The Call"

Directed by: Brad Anderson
Starring: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin and Morris Chestnut 
Rated: R
Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes  
Release Date: March 15, 2013

The Call is one of those films that I skipped merely because the trailer for it showed everything that happened. In the trailer we saw the set up, all the important action beats and the final showdown which left absolutely nothing to look forward to other than filling in the gaps of the by-the-numbers thriller story. It was sad, because that trailer showed what looked like a very effective looking thriller and probably one of Halle Berry's most silly haircuts to date (that's including her ever changing hair in the X-Men series).

But as luck would have it, the film became available to me to see and it had been long enough since I had last seen the trailer that it felt like as good enough a moment as any to see if there was anything more to it than what that trailer had ruined. First and foremost, this is without a doubt the best film Halle Berry has been in since...well, 2? Anyway, suffice it to say that if you like Halle Berry but haven't cared too much for her post-Oscar win filmography, this is a huge step up in the watchability department.

The second thing you should know is that this is a really fun and often times clever little thriller. Much like a similarly themed filmed titled Cellular starring Chris Evans from a while back, the film works because of a combination of solid performances from everyone involved and a constant level of intensity that is sustained through most of its very brief 90 minute runtime. Only when the film hits its final act where predictability sets in do things come to a grinding halt. It feels as though it is going through the motions to provide a crowd cheering final moment where the good guy prevails and the bad guy suffers, but in fact derails all the plausibility that came before it which is just a shame.

Lastly, and more importantly, that damned trailer really did show everything. So if you are interested in the film and haven't seen the trailer, you should be in store for a fun little ride that will take up an boring afternoon when looking for something to watch while you have your lunch. Anyone who has seen the trailer will unfortunately already know how everything plays out from beginning to end which only leaves the film to rely on its performances, which thankfully are good enough to make you not regret your choice to see it.


The Call isn't a bad movie nor is it a great one. It is one of those films that was made for pure entertainment and it mostly succeeds. If only the marketing team hadn't saw fit to ruin the entire plot in the trailer, then I have no doubt in my mind that I would have enjoyed the film immensely and even sung it some praises at its time of release. But as it stands now, it is worth a watch if you missed the trailer, but that is is sadly because there isn't much else here beyond what was shown.

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