KIDNAP — Review by Susan Granger

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Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) is devoted to her six year-old son Frankie (Sage Correa). A single mother, she works as a waitress in a New Orleans-area diner and spends all of her free time with her boy. While Frankie’s playing at a nearby amusement park, Karla steps away to take an important phone call from her attorney; apparently, her ex-husband is suing for sole custody. When she looks up, Frankie’s gone. Continue reading…

Frantically searching, she spies a woman shoving Frankie into a teal-colored Mustang GT and driving off. Running after the kidnapper, distraught Karla drops her cell phone in the parking lot.

Climbing into her red Chrysler minivan, she takes off in pursuit. “As long as my son is in that car, I will not stop,” she vows. “Wherever you go, I will be right behind you.”

Making good on her word, Karla recklessly weaves in and out of traffic on Louisiana’s highways and back roads, leaving not only wrecked cars in her wake but also critically injured bystanders, including a motorcycle policeman. Collateral damage.

When she stops briefly at a local sheriff’s office, the officer at the desk calmly picks up the telephone and tells her to wait. Looking at a bulletin board filled with photos of missing children, Karla realizes she hasn’t a moment to spare and darts back to her battered vehicle.

Eventually, Karla discovers that there are two abductors, Terry and Margo Vicky (Chris McGinn, Lew Temple). They’re a crazy, confrontational backwoods couple who are operating a child trafficking ring out of an old farmhouse near a swamp on a dead-end road.

Working from Knate Lee’s pulpy, simplistic script that often defies logic, Spanish director Luis Prieto (“Pusher”) amps the suspense, keeping the tension taut, as Karla vows, “You messed with the wrong mother!”

FYI: According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 800,000 children are abducted in the United States each year; that’s roughly 2,000 a day!

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Kidnap” is a frenetic 5, a high-octane chase thriller.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.