|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 94 min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
Actually, Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is an absolute pro at her work as an operator at the Los Angeles Police Headquarters. She has often been empathetic but rational in her way of helping to prevent crime and sending people in need the help they longed for. But a single small mistake throws her completely off course, as it leads to a girl being killed by a burglar before the police can arrive to save her. Even after six months, Jordan still hasn't dealt with the incident. Instead of taking emergency calls, she now works as a trainer. But just as she guides her new students through the emergency call centre, she witnesses a desperate cry for help: young Casey (Abigail Breslin) was kidnapped by a man and is now in the trunk of his car. Since her colleague is completely overwhelmed by the situation, Jordan now has to put all her fears aside to help this girl. When she actually manages to identify the kidnapper's vehicle, Casey's rescue seems within her grasp. But then the case takes a dramatic turn and the horror seems to repeat itself once more…
With the atmospheric horror shocker "Session 9" and the great Mysetry thriller "Der Maschinist" Brad Anderson has proven himself to be a master of tension cinema. But since his films never attracted a large audience despite mostly very good reviews and his last work "Die Herrschaft der Schatten" was completely lost, the director had to make do with jobs at TV series like "Fringe", "Boardwalk Empire" or "The Killing". With "The Call - Don't hang up" he has finally made it to the cinema again and proves at least in the first half of the film how cleverly he can build up atmospheric, captivating tension.
The not always logical behaviour of the protagonists isn't really noticeable yet. Too feverish is the fever with Jordan as to whether she will succeed in finding Casey's kidnapper and leading the police to the desperate girl before another terrible blood crime occurs. The coincidences that benefit the killer, however, take over with time. It's a bit unbelievable that only two policemen are really following the heels of the kidnapper and spend a lot of time on forensics instead of a large contingent sealing off the area. But this can be dismissed as a dramaturgical necessity if necessary, as it can prolong the hunt and further tighten the tension screw.
However, in the last third the whole thing takes on almost ridiculous dimensions, especially when Jordan leaves her station and goes on a vigilante trip alone. Here, the thriller not only bids farewell to every form of logic, it also loses a lot of suspense due to the heavily forced plot turns. The entertainment value is still at a reasonable level, but "The Call - Leg nicht auf!" is miles away from the quality of Anderson's earlier films at the latest now.
The film doesn't offer any acting masterpieces, but Oscar-winner Halle Berry and former "Little Miss Sunshine" Abigail Breslin get the best out of their badly stereotyped roles. Only Michael Eklund is really good as a psychopathic killer - but only until the last act, when his performance seems to be inspired by "The Silence of the Lambs".
The bottom line is "The Call - Don't hang up" is unfortunately only average thriller merchandise, which gives away its initial potential in favor of stale genre clichés, illogical behavior of the characters and a badly exaggerated finale. If you are looking for the simple thrill, you can't really do anything wrong here. But if you're also hoping for a clever story, interesting characters and a thrilling finale, you'd better hang up quickly. Only conditionally worth seeing!
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