By Jacob Montgomery (Texas)
I have no doubt that a good film could be made on this premise. I really think someone else should have a go at this plot. Even if it doesn’t work, it would be a million times better than this abysmal excuse for a thriller.
Amber Alert is the story of 3 friends who are travelling, when suddenly they realize that the car they’re travelling behind is a car that was put out on an Amber Alert, so they decide to go well and beyond the call of duty and decide to follow him so the police can have an easier time tracking him down.
The very first major misstep of this film comes in the very first minute. It’s a found footage film. For starters, there is no reason, absolutely none at all, to make this a found footage film. Not only that, but this format actually limits the film spectacularly, meaning we are limited just to the car, and don’t get any outside information that might be useful. And since we are for 80% of the film looking at one angle, it’s visually unappealing, and it makes you want to throw the camera out the window in the hopes that we get to see something different.
But the film’s biggest drawback is its awful characters. The film starts off by showing what gosh-darned good friends the two leads are, but for the rest of the film, you would never know it. They spend the entire film bickering and constantly screaming at each other, and it’s so irritating that more than once, I had to take my earphones out and just read the subtitles. They are both equally annoying for different reasons. The woman wants to save the little girl’s life, but she acts so stupidly and bullies her friend into doing what she wants that you wish someone would just punch her. The man just wants to police to handle it, but he is so dismissive and cruel about it, that he comes across as a jerk. Don’t you love it when you despise every onscreen character?
Also worth noting is the sheer and utter incompetence the police are in this film. They do things that they would never ever do in real life. They tell citizens to follow the car. They call off an Amber Alert after a few hours, when the kidnapped victim hadn’t been recovered yet, and the car had been identified. It also takes them way longer than it would, to send a black-and-white to the guy’s house. I know there is such a thing as Hollywood Police stupidity, but this is not only ridiculous, it’s insulting.
The film is littered with plot holes and contradictions, the characters don’t act like real people would in this situation, and the ending is so insulting it would’ve been kinder to just end with someone flipping the camera off. In case you couldn’t tell by my subtle critique of the film, this is one of the worst thrillers I’ve ever seen. If the plot sounds engaging to you, I’d say check out The Call instead; I guarantee you’ll enjoy it more than this film.