The Call DVD
The Call has some problems simply due to its concept. It’s a film about a 911 operator attempting to save the lives of people who call in, and in the case of the main plotline in the movie, it follows our operator as she attempts to save a young woman who has been kidnapped. Conveniently, the kidnapped teen has a phone in her back pocket that her inept kidnapper doesn't know about. Inconveniently for the movie, this means we spend a lot of time with our two heroines while they chat on the phone.

These are problems movies like Cellular and Taken 2 have dealt with in the past, to varying degrees of success. Luckily, director Brad Anderson knows how to keep the stakes and thus the suspense high throughout the film, taking viewers on an extended car chase through a good percent of the movie. He also creates an engaging soundtrack throughout the car chase, juxtaposing fast-paced music with some much creepier stuff, including They Might Be Giants’ “Puttin on the Ritz." If this doesn’t work to give fans the heebie jeebies, some of the more visual aspects of the film will.

Our two heroines are played by Halle Berry and a now-teenaged Abigail Breslin. The former is a 911 operator who has been on edge ever since she made a mistake that cost a life during an important emergency call. The latter is an average teenager who is forced into extraordinary circumstances after being kidnapped. The two must work together to lock in the kidnap victim's location before it’s too late.

The high stakes timeframe of the film allows for fans to engage in The Call’s plot easily and quickly, but unfortunately, this pace doesn't continue into the third act, which slows the film down and goes off the rails in terms of plot. Slowing down at the climax is never particularly awesome for any film, and it’s a problem that this movie made for itself while building its script. To compensate, fans will get a ludicrous ending, but it doesn't make sense in terms of the strong and honest protagonist Berry has built. Despite this, The Call is still worth a watch for the first hour, though.

The set offers an annoyingly lengthy number of trailers before you get to the menu screen, and the DVD is not particularly impressive, either in picture quality or in bonus features. We’ve written on The Call’s Blu-ray and DVD release before, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment opted to put together a Blu-ray set featuring more extras than the DVD set, including an alternate ending and deleted scenes. Having only seen the DVD, I can’t tell you whether trading up for the Blu-ray is a great purchase, but I can tell you that the bonus features with the DVD set are lackluster.

You can order The Call over at Amazon.

Special Features:
Audio Commentary
“Emergency Procedures”

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