Maria Bello has starred in some pretty gritty, jarring movies, and Prime Suspect may cement her status as a star. But before she tore into Helen Mirren’s former role as Jane, Bello filmed a small screen movie about an embattled mother who finds herself carjacked by a fugitive bank robber and searches desperately for a way to free her young son from his clutches.
Carjacked is almost as straightforward as its title. It’s surprising, given the generally non-mainstream material that Bello has signed up for (Beautiful Boy, The Company Men) that she would take this one on. She did collaborate with Stephen Dorff in World Trade Center so maybe that’s where the idea for Carjacked was hatched, with The Marine’s John Bonito directing. It’s nearly as direct as that film, with flashes of violence, terror, and action that may not be original but will periodically take your breath away.
Dorff plays a wicked Roy who stumbles on Loraine (Bello) as she navigates single parenthood with her son and the support group for abused women she attends. It’s amazing how horrible the advice is that she gets from her friends, like Job’s friends in fact, and it’s amazing how incredibly naive and stupid the people she meets are in their interactions with her as she tries to escape Roy, from the people in the gas station to the police officer who pulls them over and everyone in between.
We could probably predict how this is going to end: you figure Loraine isn’t going to take it anymore (at some point) and she’ll release the inner Kathy Bates inside of her. She’s held down by poor decisions, problems, other people’s evil intent, and so much more, but at some point, she has to take initiative to save herself. Surprisingly, it’s not to save herself that she finds the greatest resolve, but in the end, sometimes to save yourself, you have to save someone else first.