Stars: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Michael Eklund, Morris Chestnut, Michael Imperioli Director: Brad Anderson (
HERE we have a good example of getting a little something out of a whole lot of nothing. In Halle Berry plays a 911 emergency helpline operator. People contact her in a high state of distress and she does her best to talk them down.
An aspiring serial killer has just abducted another victim. He crept up behind her in a shopping centre, waved some chloroform under her nose and then bundled her into the boot of his car.
Now he’s speeding undetected towards his house- of- horrors HQ. ( It isn’t the fi lmmakers’ fault, but elements of do bring to mind those poor women recently freed from captivity in suburban Cleveland.)
The only hope of escape for the kidnappee ( Abigail Breslin) is a mobile phone still in her possession.
As luck would have it, there’s just enough juice in the battery to not only dial 911, where Berry is ready to commence a roundabout rescue mission, but also leave the line open for the hours of ordeal to follow.
And that, right there, is the whole movie, people.
A not- quite- bound- nor- gagged Breslin gets all terrifi ed on one end of the line. Berry gets all worried at the other.
To break the monotony, Mister Kidnapper who, err, has issues with members of the opposite sex that resemble his late sister will stop the car, pop the trunk, and menace his petrifi ed passenger.
It takes some panache to thread together material as tatty as this, but is blessed with the right mix of talent to just about get away with it.
Filmmaker Brad Anderson has directorial priors on high- end TV fare like and
So when your buttons need to be pressed, this guy knows exactly when the time is right.
Breslin does well also, considering no- one has been forced to work in so small a space since that Ryan Reynolds movie set entirely inside a coffi n.
The major plaudits, however, go to Halle Berry for humanising proceedings when everything could have got too cynically clinical. When you consider she spends most of the movie emoting into her headset at a computer screen, hers is a fi ne anchoring effort indeed.