A Fast Paced Thriller That Lacks Thrills
If you’ve ever wondered how far a mother will go to get her kidnapped child back, wonder no more. Netflix Original Kidnap is a fast paced action thriller that ignores logic and characterisation for messily shot action that rarely thrills. Unfortunately, even Halle Berry’s exasperated, stressed acting as overworked mum Karla can’t save this film which fails to be anything but a poor action flick.
The film opens with snapshots of home videos. Baby Frankie’s life is shown from his first steps right up to his current 6 year old state. Fast forward to present day and we find overworked mum Karla (Halle Berry) struggling to juggle her parental responsibilities with a demanding waitress job. When her tiring shift ends and she goes to the park with Frankie (Sage Correa), a distracting phone call is all it takes for her child to be snatched and bundled into the back of a car. Thankfully, mum notices and what follows is a fast paced chase across winding highways to get her son back.
Kidnap wouldn’t be so bad if the action was well shot but unfortunately even in this department the film fails to impress. Rapid, shaky cuts between extreme close ups of Halle Berry’s face, the increasing dial on the speedometer and exterior shots of the car changes at such a rapid pace its difficult to discern exactly what’s going on. As the film progresses, the action scenes do change from car chases to more conventional means of action but it still suffers the same poor editing plaguing the film.
Its difficult to recommend Kidnap when it fails on so many levels. The acting is sub-par for most of the run time – made worse by Berry’s incessant need to overact in almost all of her scenes. Poor editing and some clumsy cinematography is typified by the action which is sub-par throughout making Kidnap a disappointing film. Although the premise is intriguing, the execution is less so making this an action film that fails to spark excitement beyond its initial premise.