“If you cut out all of the bullshit, you would be lucky if Kidnap was 30 minutes long.”
Last night I decided to go see a movie and unfortunately the one I landed on was Kidnap. Kidnap is just a fucking terrible movie. So bad in fact, that I don’t even want to have to write about it. But since I don’t want to break my review schedule I’ll soldier on. Kidnap is a movie about Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) who’s son gets kidnapped from a park. What then follows is essentially an 80 minute chase scene of Karla trying to get her kid back. “That sounds pretty simple, how did they expand that plot into an 80 minute movie?” I can hear you ask; I’m sure many of the people working on this movie had the same question.
Kidnap is barely even a movie in my opinion. Sure it has a plot, characters, and I watched it in a movie theatre so by process of elimination it is technically a movie, but when you look at the finer details a lot is missing. First of all most of this “movie” is just padding. Someone along the line (or hopefully everyone along the line) realized that you can’t make a feature-length film that is just one chase scene so they had to cut corners. How do you waste time in a movie? B-roll. That’s right the majority of Kidnap is jus shots of people doing normal shit. The first half of the film focuses on driving, so we get a whole lot of driving shots. You name it, we get it see it. Aerial shots, 3rd person shots, rotating shots, dutch angle shots, shots in the cabin, shots of Halle Berry’s face, shots of the road, shots of the fucking tire spinning; it’s all there. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record but this movie really didn’t have much going for it. Kidnap makes sure to show literally everything it can. Halle Berry starts to follow the car that took her son? Let’s make sure to show every god damn minute of this low-speed “chase”. Halle Berry stops for a minute to stare at people fishing, only to then yell at them for help? God forbid we miss even one second of this riveting story. I shit you not, there is a portion of the film where there is an accident and the camera fucking stays on the car for a good five minutes, completely silently, until something finally happens. I thought the people behind the camera had finally given up. They had realized that what they were working on is complete shit, and decided that their talents were better suited elsewhere. Luckily once the car chase portion ends we get to the part of the movie that is actually a movie, but unfortunately not all problems are fixed. We still have time to kill so now we get to watch Halle Berry walk everywhere instead of drive everywhere. This is arguably worse because for some reason Halle Berry decided that this character walks like she just shit her pants. It’s just so fucking boring, and nothing happens ever. If you cut out all of the bullshit, you would be lucky if Kidnap was 30 minutes long. That’s not even an over-exaggeration, this movie is filled to the brim with shit.
And even the actual movie parts aren’t any good. The first half of the movie, as I said, is focused on driving. The problem here is that the driving isn’t even that impressive. It’s just a minivan following a shitty old Mustang at highway speeds. There are no cool jumps, there are no sweet driving manoeuvres, it’s just driving. And to add insult to injury the filmmakers decided to throw in some over the top stunts that were completely unnecessary as well. Just to remind you how shitty this movie is, they give you glimpses of cool shit you could be seeing in other movies right at this very moment. And then when the “real movie” kicks in toward the end, not only is it too little too late but it’s just weak. We go from a generic car chase movie to a generic thriller (?) in a shitty house. One thing I will say is that the beginning of the film where the child gets kidnapped was rather intense for me. When the scene changed I found my heart racing and was rather impressed with the editing. As it turns out what I thought was skill was actually just a mess because this editing style continues throughout the film. Instead of keeping tensions high by using quick cuts and an intense score, the editing in Kidnap aims to keep tensions high by just confusing you. Seriously, half of the time I didn’t even know what I was looking at. There were fucking weird decisions thrown in like punching in on a characters face even though there was no reason to, and reusing the same shots over and over again. I wish I could say that this movie was saved by the acting but come one, it’s Halle Berry. I guess thats a little unfair because she’s not terrible, she’s just kind of generic. And it doesn’t help that the character she is playing is even more generic and she is essentially reduced to just screaming over and over again. And just to go back to the very beginning of the movie for a second, who’s fucking idea was it to include ten minutes of “home movies” to start this piece of shit? Did you think that the audience wouldn’t care about the kid unless we saw all of this doctored “candid” footage of him first? Here’s a tip: audiences will always care about kids. You don’t have to win them over, they’ll just care about the kid. That’s why using children as pawns in movies like this is lazy as shit. And to top this off, why end the movie with another montage? This one made even less sense because the movie was over. God, this movie pissed me off.
Overall Kidnap was just a fucking turd of a movie. If you are looking for something that is intense, or revolves around a kidnapping just watch literally any other action movie that has come out in the last ten years. If you want something with sweet car-based stunts watch The Fast and the Furious. If you want to watch a movie that is so obviously padded with terrible special effects, terrible acting, terrible driving sequences, terrible writing, and enough B-roll to smother a horse than this is the one for you.
I give Kidnap a D