Friday, August 11, 2017

Kidnap [2017]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (1/2 Star)  AVClub (D+)  Fr. Dennis (2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (K. Jensen) review
Los Angeles Times (K. Walsh) review (G. Kenny) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review

Kidnap [2017] (directed by Luis Prieto, screenplay by Knate Lee), perhaps in line with the recent commercially successful / far more _critically acclaimed_ "inverted" (and African American-centered) horror dramedy Get Out [2017], could be considered to be a similarly "inverted" version of the Liam Neeson-starring Taken [2010-2014] films, with the (pale / ever deathly serious) ex-CIA assassin Neeson's role played by Halle Berry, playing a humble (and at times quite emotional) New Orleans residing African-American diner waitress in the process of a divorce, whose cute-as-a-button six-year-old African-American boy (rather than "white naive suburban teenage daughter") gets kidnapped, here _not_ by crazed / bearded malevolent terrorist mafia types from the Balkans / Middle East ("expected" to naturally "hate America...") but rather by similarly crazed / bearded malevolent here emphatically _white redneck_ types who could have been extras in Hell's version of Swamp People (and "expected" then to "naturally" hate people of color ...).

I think the critical reactions to the current film need to be taken in light of who the heroes were in this film and who were its villains because as crazy as the car chases were ... they were IMHO _no crazier_ than those in Taken 3 [2014].

I confess, I didn't particularly mind the current film, and kinda enjoyed it.  But I would suggest that Hollywood try to learn a thing or two from the Italians for instance who have made it an art of making compelling (and often very funny) films in which there are no discernable villains at all...

Again, I think I totally get this film, and am happy that it was made (as a fascinating counter-point to such films as the Taken series).  But I do agree the critics above that after making this point, there wasn't much there ... course there wasn't much in the Taken series either 'cept the message of "Be afraid, be very, very afraid ..."

So Two Stars, as I gave the last Taken film.

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