Going to the movies is a major investment. You’re out cash, time and usually patience if the person behind you is kicking your chair so much that you can’t read the Facebook posts of the guy in front of you. So when Hollywood actually lures us from our giant HD screens rather than having us wait a month to see it on the shelves at Target in 30 days, it had better be worth it.
I’d already heard the reviews that The Call was disappointing, but sometimes it’s fun to escape and I had already surrendered enough credibility with shows like 24. Maybe Jack Bauer only had eight really tough days in an otherwise boring career as a government stooge. How many atomic bombs, terrorists, and chemical and biological weapons can one person stand? Jack never even went to the bathroom. (And wherever he was, LA, DC, New York, he was always 20 minutes away. Given traffic in those towns, that time-frame alone made the stories far-fetched.)
It was a pretty good techie thriller for a good portion of the film as the 9-1-1 operator pieces together the details of a 6-month cold-case killer coming back to haunt her with a mall kidnapping. Lots of suspense, computer Big-Brotherish spying and a decent soundtrack. Then in six easy steps the silliness came to a mushroom cloud bigger than any disaster Jack Bauer ever had to withstand.
[I’d say spoiler alert–but it’s already spoiled.]
1. The heroine decides to head for the remote location on her own in the dark–without telling anyone.
2. She finds a Lovely Bones hole in the ground and doesn’t call for back-up.
3. She drops the phone in the scary hole and decides to go get it.
4. She waves her flashlight around in the dark Silence of the Lambs basement, perhaps alerting an observant psychopath of her presence.
5. She knocks out the bad guy and doesn’t tie him up as the audience is screaming for her to look out for the waking up bad guy.
6. After a successful escape, the heroine and rescued girl decide to cold-bloodedly murder the cold-blooded killer by locking him in his lair, choosing not to give any closure to the families of his other victims.
Sneers and laughter during the credits was probably not the end-result of the film’s producers and director–certainly not Richard O’Vidio who probably had his original ending trashed long ago. (Whenever you see two or more “Story” credits, you know there’s been some major tampering.) And Oscar-winner Hallie Berry probably didn’t intend for her Storm in X-Men to be the less-fictional of the two roles.
The “Oh-Come-On” Meter is nearly worn out by the time this rollicking comedy of a bloody thriller completes a perfect night out.