Newest Review: ... is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Kim Basinger plays a women Jessica Martin who is kidnapped from her own home and taken to an unknown ... more
Don't Talk to Strangers
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
Advantages: Fast paced, Easy to watch
Disadvantages: Need to suspend your disbelief in parts.
saw this film promoted when I was in America on holiday in 2004. It appealed because Jason Statham was in it playing an all action bad guy, possibly not the most challenging role for him but one he does well. Plus Kim Basinger hadn't done anything high profile (apart from a supporting role in the Eminem movie '8 Mile') for a few years and she looked fantastic for 50 something. Anyway we didn't go and see it in the end and thus it has taken me a while to get around to watching it.
This is like 'Phone Booth' on the move. High School science teacher Jessica (Kim Basinger) is kidnapped from her home by a gang of men, for reasons she doesn't understand (or at least claims not to understand). Ethan (Jason Statham) leader of the gang locks her in the attic of the house they take her to and smashes the phone. Being a resourceful lass, Jessica detects a tone on the phone and although the keypad did not survive, she taps away persistently with the wires in the hope that she makes a connection. She ends up calling a young lad called Ryan, desperately trying to run errands to impress his ex-girlfriend. Ryan (Chris Evans - no, not that one) is naturally suspicious of some strange woman phoning him saying she has been kidnapped. Instead of disconnecting straight away he listens to what she has to say, and why she can't dial the police or hang up, and agrees to drive to the police station and hand the phone over.
The sweet and soon to retire cop, Sergeant Mooney (William H Macy) is slightly distracted by plans to open a day spa with his wife. He tries to help but a fight breaks out at the station and he sends Ryan upstairs to another department. Jessica's kidnappers return to her room and she hides the phone under her jacket, Ryan can hear them in the background threatening to kidnap and kill her son and no longer doubts her. However he is experiencing a low signal in the police station so leaves to try and beat the kidnappers to her son's school, rather than continuing and risking losing the connection. There begins a rollicking, fast-paced, tunnel-avoiding ride for the rest of the movie, and plenty of product placement for Nokia. For good measure there is even a little bit of mystery as to why Jessica and her family have been targeted, who these bad guys are and what they want, but nothing that will trouble you greatly.
The film asks you suspend your belief big time that Jessica with no keypad managed to dial a mobile of a lad who was not only also in California, but seemingly in the same area. Plus there are many far-fetched situations that Ryan gets himself to into to help Jessica, such as armed robbery, car-jacking and driving the wrong way down the freeway emerging unscathed through the multi-car pile-ups behind him. Saying that, I don't think the film intends to take itself seriously, just to entertain. Director David Ellis keeps his finger on the pulse of the action at all times and the pace of the movie does not flag. The performances of all the key characters are solid, but none of them are particularly challenged by their roles. I was pleasantly surprised how the 50-something Basinger managed to pull off a semi-action parts of the feisty Jessica with ease, maybe it was the Botox.
With a running time of little over an hour and a half this film will not inconvenience you greatly to watch. Characters are not deep, and sometimes slightly stereotypical (soon to retire cop anyone?) It is a very easy to watch film, it will not challenge or stimulate you as long as you can suspend your belief long enough to enjoy the ride.
This film has a 15 certificate; there is no sex and limited violence, certainly nothing gory.
I watched this film as part of my online DVD rental service. I don't think your DVD collection really needs this in it, but if you wish to buy it, currently the best deal online is £4.99 at HMV. I would suspect that this is also the type of film that ends up in the promo sections at your local High Street store. My rental copy contained no extras, and looking on various websites there doesn't seem to be many on the versions available to buy.
Summary: Watchable, lightweight action flick.