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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Unprecedented Civilian Pursuit

Kidnap on IMDb

Plot Overview

performance reportblack babyphone callerLatina single mom Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) receives a phone call from her lawyer telling her her boy's father is filing for primary custody (“Can he do that?”). As father he had custody certain weekends, but he was never, judging from the many snap­shots of little Frankie (Sage Correa) growing up, involved in his life, not when Karla was there with a camera at any rate. So they were never married or even shacked up together. Judging from the FAB FEST at the CITY PARK where she has taken her eager boy to listen to the music, Karla was a party girl and judging from the lawyer's surprise that she now has a job, she didn't have one when she was awarded primary custody. The kid was but the product of a brief sexual encounter. The father being an African American working in Louisiana real estate, he didn't strike the family court as a safe primary bet. The mom now waitresses 3:00–11:00 a.m. at an all-night diner while her six-year-old amuses him­self there with toys and coloring books. She had lost her family to disease and is unable to afford professional child care though she might have got a modest inheritance. What changed the dad's situation is his new girl­friend Cheryl a pediatrician. Ouch! But they're not married so the court won't necessarily change custody.

David and Goliath

fishingband lineupWhile Karla momentarily stepped away from the band to a quiet spot to receive the phone call, kidnappers Terrence “Terry” (Lew Temple) and Margo (Chris McGinn) Vicky lured Frankie into their car, but Karla gives chase as they speed away. That leads to a tense negotiation on a verge of grass. The business criteria are aptly described by author Steve Berry: “Most sellers did not under­stand that value was a factor of desire, scarcity, and uniqueness” (49–50). A mulatto in Louisiana is not unique; they're a dime a dozen. Their destination countries are full of half-breeds. (We even see Karla requesting an emergency phone call from a White man fishing with his Negro son.) These kid­nap­pers call the kid just “another one.” He goes for $50K, still a pretty penny for a picka­­ninny. He's to be moved quickly for a fast profit. Not so the two White girls they are holding in reserve. Whites are scarce in the countries they'll be sending them to. They need the right, wealthy clients and transfers set up. Desire ups the price, too. The “problem mom” they have to deal with causes them to double the asking price for Frankie. But Karla's credit cards max out at $10,000, not nearly the $100K they can get for him. She negotiates by saying she'll follow them to the ends of the earth if they keep him, but if they let him go, she won't describe them to the police. Right. They have another idea to return home for their shot­gun to take care of this problem mom.


card playersThe car chase lends itself to comparison with one of Kenny Rogers's songs concerning a chance encounter with “The Gambler” on a train bound for nowhere. He offered his fellow passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” Karla the waitress with her arms full of plates, drops an item and lets it go to be picked up later. A family's boy changes his mind and wants bacon instead of hash browns with his order, but his mom insists he stay with the latter. During the car chase Karla will have to decide when to offer assistance at the entailed crashes and when to drive on. The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie when the sheriff deputy wants Karla to have a seat and let the APB & amber alert run their course, she decides instead to continue her hot pursuit before the trail gets cold.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em.” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. When the kidnappers threaten to slit the boy's throat unless she exits the free­way, she complies for now to spare her boy.

dwarf goatWe have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” When Karla's boss offers her a double shift, she declines and walks off with her boy to visit the park.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When Karla spots the kidnappers forcing her son into their car, she takes off running to intervene.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

If she prevails against the kidnappers, she'll still have the custody battle to go through, but now with the added hindrance of being considered an unfit mom for not monitoring her kid in an exposed park.

Production Values

” (2017) was directed by Luis Pietro. It was written by Knate Lee. It stars Halle Berry, Sage Correa and Chris McGinn. The actors did their best with what they were given. Berry was impressive and only over­wrought in places. It helps that she was good looking.

MPA rated it R for violence and peril. The fast pace is nonstop. The camera action keeps us on our toes. It had a great musical score by Federico Jusid. Correa's parents contributed real-life videos of their adorable toddler. DVD runtime is 1 hour 22 minutes (14 minutes shorter than the theatrical version.)

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Madonna with childKarla attributes her son's babbling to talking with the angels. When he's in trouble she turns to other­wise neglected prayer. I figure her for a lapsed Catholic, which is why she didn't have an abortion though delivery would inconvenience her life. She did about as well as one could expect raising a child on her own. There are reasons for her to fear a custody battle as a male bread­winner with a female care­giver would strike the court as advantageous. The movie presents Christianity favorably and the nuclear family as preferred.

For action aficionados you won't be disappointed with the endless car chase. Dialogue is sparse and character development nil. The movie is good for what it does. What you see is what you get.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four and a half stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Berry, Steve. The Templar Legacy. Copy­right © 2006 by Steve Berry. New York: Ballantine Books, 2007. Print.