Movie Review: The Call (2013)

Synopsis: Still traumatized from a mistake that led to one of her callers being kidnapped and murdered, Jordan Turner now teaches new Los Angeles 9-1-1 operators rather than field the calls herself. That changes when a teenager is kidnapped from a mall and Jordan's experience and ingenuity is needed to track down the victim.

Who's in it? The movie stars Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Michael Eklund, Morris Chestnut and Roma Maffia.

Review: I came across this movie a couple days ago and decided to record it so my wife and I could watch it when we had time. We finally got around to doing that last night and I can honestly say I was glad I made this choice.

There were a few things that really stood out for me when it came to this movie. One of the main ones is I liked how it gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what life must be like for people working in a 9-1-1 call center. While it manages to portray the people working there as heroes, it also made sure to show us the human side of things, especially the potential trauma from hearing victims on the phone and not always knowing what happens to them.

I also found I liked the kidnapper/murderer in this film, Michael Foster (Eklund). I loved how he had a sound enough mind to elude the police while, at the same time, was just mentally unstable enough to make some mistakes along the way. I think the movie also did a good job of keeping his backstory to a minimum. There were just enough clues (about his now-deceased sister) to give a basic idea about his motive while leaving things just vague enough to avoid making someone feel sorry for him (a big pet peeve of mine when it comes to the bad guys in horror movies and thrillers).

Another thing I feel this movie did right was give Foster a believable victim in Casey Welson (Breslin). I liked how the film portrayed her as being a scare teenager but, at the same time, didn't have her scared to the point she wouldn't try to fight back or escape. This made her a bit of a wild card in the movie because her actions had the potential to help Jordan (Berry) find her or could cross a line that could result in Foster finding her hidden phone.

My only real complaint about this movie is I wasn't a big fan of the ending (which I'll try not to spoil), mostly because I think it took things a little too far, especially since it wasn't as though there wasn't a pile of evidence against Foster and he wouldn't have been sent to prison for life (or received the death penalty). At minimum, it would have been better to at least give a little better justification for what Jordan and Casey wind up doing.

Final Opinion: Overall, I have to say this was an exciting action movie with a few twists and turns and an interesting bad guy and unpredictable victim. I'd recommend watching it if you haven't seen it.

My Grade: A


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