Run time: 89 mins
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this revved-up remake of the taut 2018 Danish thriller.
Joe Baylor is a hotheaded LAPD cop who’s been temporarily demoted from patrolling the streets to answering calls at a 911 communications centre. When he receives a cryptic distress call from the victim of an abduction, he desperately tries to piece together the strands of a case that becomes more tangled and confusing with every twist.
Gyllenhaal and director Antoine Fuqua, who made the 2016 boxing drama Southpaw together, have proved to be a solid team before. Working again in tandem here, they ratchet up maximum tension in minimal surroundings. Taking place entirely within two rooms and a hallway, everything plays out in real time, mining all the energy it requires from Gyllenhaal’s intense performance. It is his film to carry and his history of haunted and untamed characters makes him an ideal candidate here.
This is the kind of project more people should have been making during the pandemic: a virtual one-man show built around a high-stakes 911 call. A deceptively sparse yet engrossing crime thriller that relies on the imagination to conjure up the usual highly charged set pieces. (Chris Coetsee)