Taking every parent’s worst nightmare and ramping it up to near-hysterical levels, Never Let Go is a ballsy, kinetic abduction thriller that proves a thrilling watch.

Showcasing an eye-catching turn from lead Angela Dixon, Howard J Ford’s effort is a real change of pace from his recent work (zombie epics The Dead and The Dead 2), but hammers home much of those film’s qualities in terms of pacing, cinematography and sheer verve.

Dixon stars as Lisa Brennan, a bodyguard/agent taking a much-needed break from her duties after the birth of her daughter.

Complicating matters though is that the father of said child is the ‘happily-married’ Clark Anderson (Nigel Whitmey), a politician embroiled in a high-profile election campaign back in the US.

Suffering from anxiety, with a bit of depression on the side, Brennan heads to an unnamed African country (actually filmed in Morocco) for a time-out.

Wouldn’t you know though, while enjoying some down time on the beach, the mother is distracted by a local – and then finds her baby has been snatched, seemingly by a child abduction ring.

Stuck in a foreign country, treated with intense suspicion by the locals and receiving little-to-no-help from an equally suspicious police force, Lisa realises she may have to take the law into her own hands if she is to see her daughter again……

Naturally people will draw comparisons to the likes of Taken when it comes to Never Let Go, and the film does indeed mirror many of the motifs from Liam Neeson’s bruising outings.

But whereas Taken and its ilk were very much ‘black and white’ movies – Neeson is the good guy, the rest are bad guys – Ford’s flick scores in that the characters are painted in shades of grey.

You never quite know whom to trust, who to believe and who to be rooting for – and that includes Brennan herself.

Throw in a mysterious, sweaty, chaotic location and plenty of language barriers and you have the recipe for a tasty slice of paranoia.

Dixon is stunning in the lead role – a tour-de-force performance that hovers from despair, anger, fear and frustration from one second to the next.

A potent mix of frailty and fearlessness, Dixon also delivers when it comes to the film’s copious physical exertions, whether it be fist fights, shootouts or running across rooftops – of which there is plenty.

Solid support comes from the likes of Whitmey, Heather Peace, Rami Nasr (as a huffing, puffing chief of police) and Velibor Topic as one of the film’s villains.

Special mention must also go to the film’s cinematography (courtesy of Travellian Skipaldi) – an evocative mix of bustling streets and sweeping landscapes that really throw the viewer into the heart of the action.

Add to that a neat score from Imran Ahmad and Never Let Go really hits the ground running – quite literally.

Ford’s film isn’t perfect – the movie slides into melodrama as it moves towards its climax, and the ‘nobody believes the hysterical woman’ schtick is rolled out a bit more than necessary.

But as a fast-paced, enjoyable romp Never Let Go grabs you from the off and, aptly, rarely lets go.

DVD Review: Never Let Go
3.5Overall Score
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About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle