Ransom (1996)

(On TV, February 2000) It takes some effort to put together a good thriller, but no one ever accused Ron Howard of not being a professional filmmaker. Here, he draws upon Mel Gibson, Renee Russo and Gary Sinise to set up a sombre kidnapping affair that quickly goes awry. Solid leading-man Gibson is perfect for the role, and Sinise makes the most of his name’s resemblance with sinister as the bad guy. Even though the film feels slightly too long at more than two hours, it moves quickly and the viewer is never bored. The conventional finale disappoints somewhat, as if the scriptwriters didn’t know what to do with their last-minute twists. But Ransom mostly delivers what it sets out to do; a good, fun, crunchy thriller.

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