The Call

There are 188 million 911 calls a year. This one made it personal.
The Call
Jordan Turner is an experienced 911 operator but when she makes an error in judgment and a call ends badly, Jordan is rattled and unsure if she can continue. But when teenager Casey Welson is abducted in the back of a man's car and calls 911, Jordan is the one called upon to use all of her experience, insights and quick thinking to help Casey escape, and not just to save her, but to make sure the man is brought to justice.
Title The Call
Release Date 2013-03-14
Genres Crime Thriller
Production Companies Troika Pictures, WWE Studios, Emergency Films, Apotheosis Media Group, Amasia Entertainment, TriStar Pictures
Production Countries United States of America


John Chard
It’s Done! Directed by Brad Anderson and starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, The Call is one of those infuriating thriller movies that destroys all its hard work with a lame last quarter. The plot is based around a 911 Emergency Call Centre, where Berry works but suffers a breakdown of sorts when an error she makes costs the life of a young girl being stalked by a maniac. Some time later and Breslin is abducted by a whacko and locked in the trunk of his car, which brings Berry back into dutiful action. Can she save the girl this time? For the most part it’s a sturdy thriller, it’s not breaking new ground or anything, but it has some good ideas and the scenes of Breslin and Berry talking on the phone are well crafted and performed. So far so tightly wound by Anderson. But there’s a point in the movie where you know exactly what is going to happen for the remainder of film. Logic, suspense and credibility is quickly replaced by a roll call of popcorn munching conventions clearly aimed at pleasing the undemanding multiplex goers. The police are buffoons but thankfully Berry, a phone operator, can do their job for them. Though this comes at a cost to Berry as well. Where earlier there was an actress playing with conviction an interesting and emotionally confused character, now she is reduced to doing the sort of dumb things that happen in laughably bad scream queen movies. Or not as the case may be in one colossal plot hole that is badly attempted to be explained away by the makers! Such a shame, because both Berry and Breslin turn in good thriller performances, and Michael Eklund is suitably nuts as the serial killer with on-going issues. But they are all better than this screenplay, and deserve better, it feels compromised after such a good start, while Anderson is clearly capable of greater things given he has Session 9, The Machinist and Transsiberian on his CV. The Call is cautiously recommended to those after a better than average thriller time waster. The lead actors are good value, the direction clean, the premise safe and the production design for the nutter’s lair suitably grotty. If only the writer and the suited financial backers could have been in sync and stayed true to the earlier tone of the pic, then this would have been a bigger hit. 6/10

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