Never Make Promises:
Listen: I don’t care what film snob is going to look down their nose at this. If you want a pared-to-the-bone, lean mean machine of a thriller that throws in a couple of high-octane performances then look no farther than The Call.
It kicks off with long-time Los Angeles 911 operator Jordan Turner taking (and fluffing) an emergency call from a girl who is about to be abducted and murdered. These first ten minutes are edge-of-the-seat nail biters, with Halle Berry superb as the operator on the very brink of hysteria herself. It grips, doesn’t let go; and then, after barely a chance to catch our breaths, it’s six months later and we’re seeing how Turner has coped with events.
Well, not that great, to be honest: she’s popping pills and training operators with such advice as: “Don’t let it get personal” and “Never make a promise that you can’t keep.” But when she gets a chance to save a young girl who has been abducted by the same psycho as before she is out of the traps like a greyhound, her own advice being left behind in the splipstream.
Berry is terrific; and her performance note perfect— something tells me that this kind of role isn’t as easy as you might think. Equally good is Abigail Breslin as the abductee Casey Welson; and Michael Eklund does just what he has to as the nutcase with the hair fetish.
There’s a peculiar cameo from Michael Imperioli and I’m not quite sure what it’s doing there, to be honest. To most people he would still be Christopher from The Sopranos, I would imagine; and it will take more than a part with only a few minutes’ screen time to change that. In fact it’s quite jarring; it seems almost as if Christopher had made it into movies like he wanted to and got a part in a film with Halle Berry. Weird, really.
The screenplay is by Richard D’Ovidio.
The directing is stylish, glossy and gripping from Brad Anderson, so good some years ago with Transsiberian.
I wonder will some people have a problem with the morality of the ending. Personally, it left me very happy.
The Call is a nice, stripped-down movie with very little message. A bit like this review, in fact; but you WILL come out of it with a lot of respect for 911 operators!