Friday, March 1, 2013

Amber Alert Movie Review – How Far Would You Go?

Runtime: 80 minutes
Release Date: November 2, 2012
Rating: R
Director: Kerry Bellessa

Nate and Sam are two best friends, who decide to make a tape to document their relationship before auditioning for a reality television show. Sam's younger brother mans the camera, sitting in the backseat of their car and rarely speaking. While driving down the road, they see an amber alert flash over the screen on the highway, warning about a potential child abduction. After a few minutes, a car passes by, and they joke about how it almost matches the amber alert. After a few more minutes, they realize that it actually is the same car.

Sam immediately calls the police, giving them the information, and they promise to follow up on her lead. After the police point out that they received hundreds of tips, Sam encourages Nate to keep following the car. Though they make several more calls to the police, it seems clear that they are the only ones who might have a shot at saving a young girl's life.

If you love shouting at the screen, you will enjoy "Amber Alert." There were so many times that we screamed at the television that I began worrying our neighbors might call the police on us. Sam is by far the most annoying character I have come across in recent films, and she is so annoying that my roommate wondered aloud why her best friend hadn't yet killed her.

The writer of the film clearly wanted a character willing to go to extreme lengths, but this one just takes it a bit too far. Not only does Sam force Nate to follow the car into an abandoned area, but when the man steps out and tries to talk to them, she offers to get into his car. While the man pumps gas, she sneaks up behind him and plants a microphone in his car, just so they can keep track of his movements. She even goes into his freaking house, which sets up the ending of the film.

Sam is the type of character who is such a shrew that you won't want her to make it out alive. She starts out as a sweet girl, who understands that Nate likes her as more than a friend, and she turns into this shrieking shrew that nearly ruined the movie for me. I don't care how much I love someone, I wouldn't go through what Nate does in this film. To make things even worse, it's her little brother in the backseat! She is willing to do absolutely anything to save the life of a little girl who she never met, even if it means putting her brother and best friend in danger. Who can root for someone like that?

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy "Amber Alert" because I did. It starts out with a basic premise, which is scary enough on its own. What would you do if you saw an amber alert posted on the highway and discovered the same car driving by you? Would you follow it, or would you just sit back and let someone else deal with it? Most of the film takes place inside the car with each character expressing something different. Nate wants to help, but he only wants to help to a certain point, while Sam is never willing to stop.

The problem is that the film jumps from one plot to another. Our main characters eventually come face-to-face with the possible abductor. He swears that it's his daughter and that he's taking her back to his ex-wife. Nate believes his story, but Sam is so sure that he's lying that she wants to keep following him for hours. Even after they lose him on the road, she makes Nate drive around for at least two hours in the hopes that they might see him again.

The other issue is how the film depicts police officers. While chasing the car, they get pulled over by a police car. The officer hears their story and makes it clear that he never got their report, despite being the only cop in the area. He even makes them leave their car while he calls into the station, leaving the man plenty of time to escape. And don't get me started on the other depictions of police officers either. Sam calls the cops six, seven, eight times, and no one does a damn thing. The last amber alert that we had was solved within two hours because the cops busted their asses. "Amber Alert" wants you to believe that the police are incompetent because it keeps the plot moving forward.

I was really excited to see "Amber Alert." I first heard about it a few months ago and kept waiting for it to come out. Now that I've seen it, I'm still on the fence. Nate is such a warm and likeable character that I hate finding fault with it, but that Sam is such a harpy that her character literally tainted the whole film.


  1. I'm watching this movie right now and I've had sevral thought about sam....................I probably would do the samething but she is so stupid goin in there without a weapon

  2. Sam is the quintessential dumb bitch, and that comes from someone who often calls herself that!

  3. I give all the credit to Sam I would have done way more than her like ram the car on the freeway as for mate he's a joke any chance I would have to get my hands on that guy I would have smashed him everyone on here saying the girl was out of line by doing something about a child being abducted is ridiculous that goes to show what kind of people are out there a bunch of cowards they're scared to step up when their call to

    1. It's not that she was out of line by doing something about the situation. It's that she didn't think much of anything through, which is dangerous in that type of situation. She thought of her actions on whims and didn't even think to prepare herself for anything, not even preparing herself with a weapon. She was a very brave soul, but there is a much safer way of going about things. Her way was effective because it got the little girl to safety, but her way was also stupid because she got damn near everyone killed. Sure, some people are cowards, but some are also brave and sensible, unlike Sam, who wasn't very sensible at all, which there are also brave and senseless people. And also, ramming the car on the freeway would put a lot more people in danger than there ever was to begin with. Again, bravery and helping out should also include being sensible and thinking about your actions and their consequences before doing anything.

  4. She got her little brother in danger and both killed.. Terrible movie

    1. True that but her heart was in good spirits even though she was very ignorant to run in a man house who has several guns on his counter without weapon hmmmm epic fail

  5. I don't think it's fair to say anyone who wouldn't do the same thing is a coward. It didn't seem like she did it because she was brave, but because she just wanted to prove everyone else wrong.

    It doesn't help that she went about things the wrong way entirely. Is it bravery to put the lives of your best friend and little brother on the line to help someone you don't know? Towards the end of the film, it started to seem like she just wanted to prove that her way was the right way and damn everyone else.

    I don't want to get into some morale debate on the film, but I will say exactly what I said when I saw it. Sam was one of the most annoying characters I've ever seen in a movie before, and I've watched hundreds of horror movies alone. She was a stereotypical whining female character who never shuts up. I can understand being freaked out in that situation, but it was like she never stopped whining, screaming, or complaining.

    You also have to admit that the filmmakers did a terrible job of depicting the police. In today's world of kidnapped children and missing children, the police do whatever it takes to find a child when he/she goes missing. The police don't ignore the calls for hours and leave it in the hands of some random girl and her friends. If the film wanted an honest depiction, it should have started following the police the moment a cop pulled them over on the road.

  6. N all honesty I will forever respect sam no matter what people may say. How ever it was stupid to enter the house.A big part came out of nate were he let love for his best friend give him the courage he needed to help and get that girl out of harm and I will like to say because of sam nate an her brother a chil is home and sam and nate is n a place where they will never in a million years see any harmful things ever again in if more people was like them this world we live in will be much better off. I can honestly say I honor there bravery there courage and if I had to I no in my heart I will do the same give a life to save a life my heart goes out to the families and if the family of sam and nate read this I will just like to say please don't cry an hate your self for your child saved a life and in my book shes a hero an I believe they did wat they had to to make sure that the little girl survived and shes alive today I no in my heart that the lil girl will forever be in the lives of these families god bless. ..

  7. Nate loved Sam that's why he followed along with her and she knew that, she used him and got him killed. She only wanted to prove everyone wrong. If I was in this situation I would be just like Sam but if its putting my friends and family in danger then I would have to put my pride aside and let the police handle it and that child's life is in there hand.

  8. I completely agree SookieSha! If it comes down to saving a complete stranger or your best friend and brother, which one is more important? Why couldn't they sit there and call the police for help? Hell, Sam could have kept an eye on the house while the others went for help. They could have thrown rocks at his door or do something to distract him and keep him away from the door until help arrived.