“911, what’s your emergency?” The ringing phones and buzzing voices of 911 operators in Los Angeles set the scene for director Brad Anderson’s “The Call.”
The film surrounds 911 operator Jordan Turner (Halle Berry), who gets a call from Leah Templeton (Evie Thompson), who claims a man is trying to break into her house. When Jordan is unable to save her, the guilt haunts her until she receives a call from Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) six months later saying she’s trapped in the trunk of a car. After Jordan realizes Casey’s kidnapper is Michael Foster (Michael Eklund), the same man who killed Leah, she uses her wits to help Casey escape.
While Berry’s performance stands on its own through her calm and collected attitude while advising Casey on how to escape the trunk, it’s Eklund whose performance shines the brightest. His creepy demeanor and zombie-like facial expressions easily illustrate Michael’s terrifying character, especially in a scene where he ties Casey to a chair, pulls out a pair of scissors and, with a menacing smile, begins to cut her hair.
However, this film doesn’t quite put itself in the ranks with thrillers such as “Taken” or “Man on Fire.” The audience doesn’t find out much about Michael’s past besides a predictable twist. These character developments, which are fully captured in hour-long “SVU” episodes, are almost completely omitted in the 96-minute flick.
With its edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-boosting plotline and convincing cast, “The Call” is a movie worth seeing, even if it makes audience members want to hold onto their families as they leave the theater.
2 ½ stars
Thriller film features strong cast and exciting story but fails to deliver character developments.