When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl’s life.
Halle Berry plays Jordan Turner, the operator guilt-ridden by a previous caller who she was unable to save. The opening scenes are brilliantly tense, and there’s flashes of great things throughout, but The Call suffers massively from a trailer that condenses the plot in almost perfect chronological order. Berry performs admirably, but the whole thing feels very tired: the scenarios are ones covered countless times in movies, and none of the characters are particularly memorable. Abigail Breslin screams her way through the lean 90 or so minute runtime, whilst Michael Eklund keeps it safe as the kidnapper, bringing a by-the-book portrayal of the killer.
As a throwaway piece of entertainment, The Call is average – at least, until the final thirty minutes. From then on, the film falls apart disastrously, simply because screenwriter Richard D’Ovidio felt compelled to give a motive to the madness. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the reasoning behind the abductions was remotely logical, but the explanation taints the already mediocre movie that precedes it.
With its cliched storyline and below par acting, it’s hard not to think that The Call should have been a straight-to-DVD release.