Dials up a shallow but fun thriller, writes
help but think: Wouldn’t it be nice to instead be watching something as good as Bridesmaids? However, also, two, to remind us of the joy of movie-going, of which thoughtless movies like The Call are a definite part.
But while The Call manages to build some suspense from the boot of the car – the clever attempts to elicit help, the dwindling mobile phone battery – its deficiencies become less forgivable once the action turns off the road.
Eklund’s psychopath kidnapper is cartoonishly drawn and when he has Welson back at this lair – and Turner is summoned from the high-tech, oddly NASA-like call centre – The Call disconnects with horror film cliches.
Berry keeps the film rolling even when it veers off course. Breslin, making a leap to more sordid territory, has little to do but be scared. Michael Imperioli makes a brief appearance as a concerned bystander, a reminder that the fine Sopranos actor deserves considerably better.
From Phone Booth to Cellular, phone-based movies have generally been bad service for moviegoers, who so often would rather look at their own mobiles in the movie theatre.
Perhaps we can await a sequel to The Call that shifts to the 311 call centre, where a pothole complaint spirals dramatically out of control.
So call me maybe?
The Call opens today.