Review: Never Let Go (2015)
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After her child is abducted on the beach of Morocco whilst on a vacation Lisa Brennon (Angela Dixon) starts a race against time to find her child before it’s too late. Working her way relentlessly through the back streets and barren landscapes, she uses her government training and contacts to find out where her baby was taken. When she is implicated in the murder of a seemingly innocent man, she also finds herself wanted by the local police. Now alone in an unfamiliar country with no money, no transport and no friends, she must do everything she can to get her baby back.
Prior to the opening credits of the film we get the following statistics regarding missing children. Over 800,000 children are reported missing every year. The first three hours are critical. After that, there is less than a 25% chance of finding them. Despite the fact many kids will walk through the door later that same day, it gives an indication of the parents fear if their child is abducted and why the actions of Lisa are justified.
It will get some obvious comparisons with Taken (2008), with her daughter having been kidnapped (although she is only months old) and her background with the US government, which gives her a distinct advantage in hunting down the kidnappers. But when it comes to the action, Never Let go comes into its own. Once the action starts it moves at a blistering pace and barely takes time to slow down.
Writer & Director Howard J. Ford utilises the Moroccan location brilliantly to convey the frantic nature of the chase. The camera moves seamlessly through the crowds with Lisa, as she continues to pursue the kidnappers through a bustling maze of back streets. The task seems impossible, but she carries on running relentless as she goes deeper into the rabbit warren of buildings, continuously raising the tension as time continues to pass.
We are seeing a lot more women holding their own in action movies and Dixon has added herself to that list with her performance here. Physically she was certainly up to the task, her stamina really shows in the action sequences as she is constantly running, climbing and fighting. It is certainly a physical role and she seems more than up to the task. Trying to avoid confrontation where possible, but when forced into a corner, she looks natural in the fight scenes and doesn’t mess around when it comes to taking them down. Dixon also does an amazing job with the emotional side of her performance. Constantly on the edge, traumatised by the loss of her daughter, she adds a sense of vulnerability to her performance and an underlying resilience to her character to keep going.
Ford takes time to create something different with Never let Go, which offers more than a carbon copy of Taken with a female lead. With some beautifully choreographed cinematography and a really strong performance by Dixon, it exceeds expectations right up to the unexpected twist at the end.