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‘The Call’

by Kaori Shoji

Halle Berry has one of the sharpest, most distinctive haircuts in Hollywood, but in her latest, “The Call,” she has no-nonsense, low-maintenance do that serves her character Jordan Turner well. Jordan is a 911 operator whose job requires dealing with dire emergencies around the clock. No time to fool around with mousse and a dryer.

The Call
Rating
Director Brad Anderson
Language English

Jordan is smart and good at her job, and she has a devoted cop boyfriend, Paul (Morris Chestnut). Just when she thinks she can relax a little, a call comes in from a teenage girl. Someone is breaking into the house and she’s all alone. Jordan gives her some advice that turns out to be bad; the girl is kidnapped and her body found in a ditch — an incident that leaves Jordan broken. Six months later, another teenage girl, Casey (Abigail Breslin), calls to say she’s been abducted and thrown in the trunk of a car. This time, Jordan swears to save her.

“The Call” is a new twist on an oft-told tale. The focal point is the trust Jordan forges with Casey, and how they empower themselves to foil the evil abductor (Michael Eklund) who is clearly channeling Buffalo Bill from “The Silence of the Lambs” — and do it all over the phone. The last 20 minutes, though, does the ladies a huge disservice: For all the excitement of the phone-based parts, things get a bit dull when the heroine actually leaves the building to take action.