Starring: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli, Denise Dowse
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Synopsis: When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl’s life.
Oh Hollywood, why? Why do you do it to yourselves? Every single time. You get a film, give it an hour and ten minutes of tense, fairly riveting drama and then let yourselves down with a stupid, cliched ending.
In the right hands The Call could have been a better than average “Phone Booth” style thriller. It was tense when it needed to be, Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin played their roles well, the premise was OK, the villain seemed vaguely like a normal person. And then the end came and ruined everything it had built before it.
The Call centres around Jordan Turner (Halle Berry), a 911 emergency call operator. She is haunted by a 911 call that went wrong, leading to the death of a young, pretty blonde girl. Jordan blames herself and consequently is a bag of nerves upon her return to work. Unfortunately for her, a new emergency is phoned through with a very similar set of circumstances, and Jordan must get over her anxiety to help the kidnapped Casey (Breslin).
This part of the movie worked well, both Berry and Breslin were good in their roles and there was a genuine sense of peril throughout. It was a mix between the Ryan Reynolds movie “Buried” and Colin Farrell starring “Phone Booth“, but that’s where the similarities end. In those two films we had fairly realistic endings. In The Call we have the usual Hollywood ‘have a go hero’ kind of ending. The kind of ending that see’s, not a police or SWAT team, but a 911 operator risk life and limb to track down and confront the murderer to save the girl. Sorry, but my enjoyment of the film just 100% collapsed at that point. It got worse still, but I won’t go into that.
In the words of Marlon Brando, The Call could have been a contender, but in the end it got KO’d in round 6 due to a horrendously misjudged, idiotic ending.