Ingenious topic! Imposing, compelling scenario, married with Halle Berry’s consummate characterization; director Brad Anderson and writer Richard D’ Ovidio open the windows to the innermost bowels, mechanisms of the 911 Emergency “hive” in Los Angeles. The sophistication of the tracking devices; frenetic cacophony, seconds culminating in success or failure; never having spent a modicum of mental muscle wondering about the operators, technicians behind the millions of emergency calls, this was eye- opening, educational, mesmerizing. Anderson and D’Ovidio illuminate a ubiquitous, unsung craft and its uncelebrated, unacknowledged, unknown heroes.
“Jordan” (Berry) is a dedicated professional operator; cool, intelligent, razor-sharp instincts inform her every response; until she fumbles, resulting in ravaging consequences; a sleazy, sordid kidnapper (terrific, terrifying depiction by Michael Foster) is capturing and killing nubile beauties: young, luscious and blond. Cell phones “reign” and the viability of the film rests with them.
Abigail Breslin as “Casey” is remarkable as a victim who spends a huge portion of the film in the trunk of a car; both women excel in displaying the horrific and traumatic conversations that hover between hysteria and sanity; survival or extinction.
Unfortunately, the film sinks to the ridiculous, sucked into the murky depths of irrationality.
“The Call” qualifies as a thriller; but the real awakening: watching bona fide “saviors” in action, triggering respect for those whose every expediential decision determines the course of someone’s future. I was emotionally sabotaged from the commencement, chose to ignore the lacuna of reason, and root for the protagonists.