Halle Berry does A-grade driv­ing in B-movie

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - MOIRA MACDON­ALD

There’s a mo­ment, mid­way through the lowrent ac­tion flick “Kid­nap,” in which things come to an abrupt and ut­ter stop (a car has crashed into a tree), and the pause is so long I thought the movie gen­uinely was try­ing to fig­ure out, on the fly, what to do next. With its amus­ing verb of a ti­tle (it’s as if “Ti­tanic” were called “Drown”), “Kid­nap” has a tossed-to­gether same­ness to it.

It has the sim­plest of plots: Karla (Halle Berry) mo­men­tar­ily turns her back on her 6year-old (Sage Cor­rea) in a park, only to have him kid­napped (saw that com­ing, didn’t you?) by some thor­oughly nasty spec­i­mens. She jumps into her mini­van to fol­low them. And drives. And screams. And drives. And screams.

Should the apoca­lypse come, I def­i­nitely want Karla on my side; this woman could drive through the flames of hell and emerge un­scathed, with great hair to boot. That poor mini­van suf­fers nu­mer­ous crashes, bashes, air­borne pro­jec­tiles, snarling in­trud­ers and other in­dig­ni­ties, and yet it just keeps go­ing, as does Karla, who’s sort of a hu­man GPS sys­tem. (She keeps los­ing the car with her son in it, and then mirac­u­lously find­ing it again.)

“Kid­nap” runs out of gas long be­fore the mini­van does, and you watch sad­dened at the sight of Berry, a tal­ented and charis­matic Academy Award win­ner (“Mon­ster’s Ball”), driv­ing around scream­ing in a B-movie. It’s A-grade driv­ing and scream­ing, to be sure — couldn’t they use Karla in a “Fast and Fu­ri­ous” se­quel? — but a waste, nonethe­less.

PETER IOVINO, AV­I­RON PIC­TURES-REL­A­TIV­ITY STU­DIOS

Halle Berry plays a de­ter­mined mother in “Kid­nap.”

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