The Call is a very maddening film with a weak script, but somehow I really enjoyed this thriller which had me at the edge of my seat for the most part. Despite having a terrible and trashy ending, I am giving this film a passing grade because I was entertained throughout most of the movie. Halle Berry gives a terrific performance and she was one of the main reasons why I liked this film so much. The extreme close ups which focused on her facial expressions were really convincing and she got me emotionally involved with the story and made me care for the characters. This is the first film I've seen from director Brad Anderson and despite not being too impressed with the material I did enjoy the way he built the suspense and had me at the edge of my seat. This film seemed to have all the perfect ingredients to be a failure, but somehow he managed to deliver a strong film out of some pretty predictable and trashy stuff. My only complaint is the ending which in my opinion went a little too overboard and didn't connect well with the overall mood of the film.
Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is one of the best 911 operators at her unit, but when she makes a terrible mistake with a call one night she decides to apply for a different position. Her judgement call cost the life of a young teenager who was abducted from her home and now Jordan is having trouble dealing with her mistake. She decides to teach rookie 911 operators from now on, but when one of those operators receives a call from a young girl trapped in the trunk of a car, Jordan decides to take over and help Casey (Abigail Breslin) escape from her abductor. With little time, Jordan tries to do the best she can to find a way to redeem herself from her past mistake and save this girl. The kidnaper is played by Michael Eklund, while Morris Chestnut plays Jordan's love interest.
The Call has some great suspenseful moments, although this tension is sometimes interrupted by some maddening moments that the screenwriters decided to include in the narrative. The film is full of flaws and the material is recycled in the most part, but somehow the film is engaging and exciting to watch. Thanks to Berry's performance, we are drawn to the story and deeply care for the characters. Since most of the film takes place entirely in one day there is little room for character development, but that is ok here because it allows the film to focus on the action, and the suspense works thanks to Berry who gives such a convincing performance that we care for what is going on. The villain doesn't bring much to the table considering he plays the typical neurotic role we've seen in other movies (think of Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs), but Abigail Breslin has proven she has grown as an actress. She also gives a strong performance as the victim and we care for her character. I would have given this film an even higher grade if it wasn't for the terrible ending which I thought didn't really connect with the rest of the story. It was a bit overblown, but that didn't make me dislike the film. I had a fun time and was at the edge of my seat during several parts of the story.