5 Reasons Halle Berry's 'Kidnap' Kicks 'Taken's' Ass

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When Taken hit theaters in 2009, it became a phenomenon. Liam Neeson didn't just beat his adversaries, he annihilated them. It was undeniably cool, and produced seemingly unending sequels and memes. While no one is arguing that it wasn't an excellent film, I'm here to tell you Halle Berry's Kidnap is far superior.

Berry, who co-produced and starred in the film as protagonist Karla Dyson, embodies the badassery of Taken but gives it an element of realness that will inspire moms to trust their instincts and pursue them relentlessly. 

If you need more convincing, here are my five main reasons why I think Kidnap is going to give Taken a run for its money.

(Warning, mild spoilers for Kidnap lie ahead.)

  • 1. It portrays a Black woman in a kick-ass, positive light.

    In Taken, POC/foreigners are villainized and a typical white male savior is the center of the narrative. I mean, does it get any more predictable than that?

    It's no secret that the media (from the news to the silver screen) can often negatively skew Black people's personas -- especially when it comes to familial issues. Berry's character has no negative stereotypes, no socially implicative undertones -- she's just a mom willing to do whatever it takes to save her son.

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  • 2. It's believable.

    Taken hinges entirely on happy coincidence. What are the odds the abductors would just so happen to target the daughter of a lethal assassin with an unfathomable amount of training and connections? Kidnap, while maintaining the dramatic excitement necessary to sustain an action flick, strategically grips the audience by allowing them to calculate alongside Berry. Her choices, though suspenseful and nail-biting, aren't unfathomable. Which leads me to my next point...

  • 3. You walk away feeling empowered.

    If you're a mother, you know down to the very depths of your soul you'd move heaven and earth for your child. Kidnap makes you feel like you could actually do it, because Berry kicks butt within the realm of plausibility -- you don't need special skills to help your child; you've got a mother's will, and that's just enough to do what needs to be done.

  • 4. It’s legitimately surprising.

    To be fair, I certainly couldn't predict Taken's every twist and turn, but Kidnap was so viscerally realistic, it was nearly impossible to see where the film was going to go. As Berry got herself into each situation, you actually wondered what would happen.

  • 5. Absolutely zero men are the heroes.

    Though in Taken's sequels women are given far more agency, Kidnap relies on the assistance of literally zero men. Scenes progress and complete without their involvement, dismantling the archetype that women need men to further their own stories. 

  • Sorry, Liam.

    There is a new lethal parent in town.

    Kidnap debuts in theaters August 4.

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