Rated: R
Release Date: 08/04/2017
Production Company: Aviron Pictures

Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Lew Temple and
Chris McGinn.

Director: Luis Prieto. Producers: Halle Berry, Joey Tufaro, Gregory Chou, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Elaine Goldsmith Thomas and Erik Howsam. Executive Producers: Colin Bates, David Dinerstein, Mike Drake, Bill Johnson, Ara Keshishian, Doris Pfardrescher, Jason Resnick, William Sadleir, Jim Seibel and Todd Trosclair. Screenwriter: Knate Lee. Cinematography: Flavio Martinez Labiano.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Since winning a “Best Actress” Oscar in 2002 for “Monster’s Ball,” Halle Berry refuses to be pigeonholed.

She’s starred in movies such as “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Gothika, “Frankie & Alice,” “The Call” and now “Kidnap” which she co-produced.

While “Kidnap” is a solid, B plus-movie from director Luis Preito (“Pusher” and TV’s “Code Black”), it still doesn’t showcase her enormous talents.

Still, Berry sells the hell out of it and gives a convincing performance in this exciting, revenge thriller that puts audiences through the wringer.

The bottom line is, never underestimate a mother driving a Chrysler Minivan.

In “Kidnap” Berry plays Karla Dyson, a waitress and single parent living in New Orleans with her adorable six-year-old son, Frankie (a delightful Sage Correa, (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”).

Although Karla’s boss wants her to do a double shift, it’s not happening because Karla promised to take little Frankie to the local carnival.

What starts out as a day of pure fun in the sun for Frankie and Karla, comes to an abrupt halt when Karla gets a phone call from her ex-husband’s divorce lawyer.

Karla tells Frankie to sit on the bench as she moves a few feet away from the music group that’s playing on stage so she can hear better. All the while, she’s looking at Frankie.

But when the lawyer tells Karla that her husband wants full custody of their son, Karla is blindsided by the news and gets more wrapped up in the call.

Within a matter of seconds, Karla turns around and notices Frankie is gone. Her first thought is he’s playing their common game of hide and seek. So, she starts calling his name, but to no avail. Then panic sets in as she asks people nearby if they saw a little boy in the area. They didn’t.

Karla makes a mad dash to the parking lot and notices a woman (Chris McGinn, “Sight Unseen”) and a guy (Lew Temple, TV’s “Chicago Fire”) forcing Frankie into an old beat up Mustang.

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. An angry, scared, yet determined Karla does everything she can including holding onto the car door as it speeds away and knocks her to the ground. She jumps in her minivan and fiercely pursues the kidnappers.

There are some wild and exceptional thrilling freeway car sequences including one involving a motorcycle cop. I had no idea a minivan could handle so well on the road under such extreme driving conditions. Kudos to Chrysler.

Karla talks her way through all the drama vowing to get her little boy back and you’re clinging to her every word, not to mention the edge of your seat, as “Kidnap” gets really real.

For a while it seems as if the abductors have the upper hand, then Karla flips the script on these hillbillies.

Yeah, they definitely messed with the wrong mom. Obviously, they didn’t see “The Call.”

Even when the action shifts from all the frenetic car crashes to a spooky looking house and a plot twist involving Frankie’s captors, “Kidnap” still soars.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.

Look At This Trailer For "KIDNAP"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Brian's Song Title: Brian's Song
Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 90
Production Company: Screen Gems (Sony)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: Gale Sayers, Al Silverman and William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: This Review Reprinted In Honor Of Movie Critic Bill Gibron--May 14, 1961--May 11, 2018. Pictured Top Left.

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