Review: Halle Berry as plays a Fierce Mama in "Kidnap"

Review: Halle Berry as plays a Fierce Mama in "Kidnap"
courtesy Aviron Films

This film makes one wonder what a person would do to get their child back. Hmm. Just as I thought… Anything! In “Kidnap”, Halle Berry portrays desperate mother, Karla Dyson, who becomes entangled in a nasty custody battle over her son, Frankie (Sage Correa). As a struggling single mother, who waitresses, she manages to take good care of her son.

However, the conflict begins when Karla takes Frankie to a carnival in town. While conferencing on the phone with her divorce lawyer, she leaves Frankie alone for a moment and tells him to stay put. Karla returns to find Frankie missing and his “walkie talkie” toy has been left behind. Karla frantically searches for her son around the heavily populated theme park.

Finally, she catches a glimpse of a woman forcing Frankie into a third generation green mustang in the parking lot. A car chase ensues. Several bystanders are injured   while in pursuit of Frankie and the kidnappers. At some point, Karla confronts the kidnappers and informs them that she will “never, ever, give up” until her son has returned back safely in her custody. Throughout the film, she pieces together clues in order to find the wherabouts of Frankie and the kidnappers. Karla soon discovers that she is all alone in her quest and may be taking on a kidnapping ring.

She will stop at nothing to get her son back…and then some! Although probably not realistic, I found her character very relatable. This initial portion of the story can happen to anyone, but I found the ending to be a little far-fetched or implausible. Karla endures some physically traumatic events; ones that most people would not be likely to recover from (especially not right away). But adrenaline, can make a person do anything. Women HAVE been known to lift cars off of their children and family members!

After one chase scene, Karla drives urgently to a police station in a small unfamiliar town. She sees the faces of all the missing children posted on the board that were never found. A realization overcomes her. She must act quickly… the longer she waits, the less chance she has of finding Frankie!

I liked the fact that Karla was very aggressive and didn't give up on the search. The issue of kidnapping is real. Many children that get abducted are never returned to their parents because they are killed, forced into prostitution, etc. The chances of recovery are slim to none…the longer time elapses. Unfortunately, this film made the police look helpless and ineffective. She almost lost her son trying to flag down the police and wait for dispatch.
Furthermore, we were reminded that there are people are out there just waiting to take advantage of women and children. Karla left her son alone, exposing him to all kinds of strange phenomenon. This can happen to anyone though. The abduction happened in a matter of seconds, a few yards away from the her. The kidnappers knew Frankie’s name because she unsuspectingly told a man on the playground who her son was.

The story moved along at a great pace. Chase scenes were filmed smoothly and shot well by cinematographer, Flavio Martínez Labiano. As character development goes, there was just enough information given about Karla, Frankie and the kidnappers. It even humanized the kidnappers, even though they were evil and scuzzy.

This film left me on the edge of my heart racing. I bit down and gritted my teeth, cheering for mama bird (Halle Berry). For $20 million, I think the studio got a bang for their buck. This was a simple story of a mother trying to retrieve her kidnapped son. With a small amount of actors, this "Kidnap" really depicted the fright and devastation a mother would go through to get her child back. This is a smart, edgy film directed by Luis Prieto and written by Knate Gwaltney.

Overall, this film kept me on my toes. I cheered on the character, hoping that she would defeat the kidnappers and get her precious child back. Karla Dyson takes on this grueling endeavor all by herself! I thought she was daring and tenacious under the most extenuating circumstances. I would give this film 3 stars out of 4.

Production Company:Di Bonaventura Pictures, Gold Star Films, 606 Films, Lotus Entertainment, Rumble Entertainment, Well Go, USA Entertainment

Distributed by Aviron Pictures


Halle Berry as Karla Dyson,
Sage Correa as Frankie Dyson
Lew Temple as Terry, kidnapper
Chris McGinn as Margo, kidnapper
Dana Gourrier as Deputy Sheriff
Jason Winston George as David

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