Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (2015)

(Video on Demand, June 2015)  There is something almost interesting in the themes that Kidnapping Mr. Heineken develops in its last third, once past the conception and execution of a rich man’s kidnapping: the idea that crime destroys friendships and that it’s hard to know where things will stop once you’ve decided to break the law.  Perhaps unfortunately, though, those themes come as afterthoughts and are explored superficially.  What’s left is a dreary European crime thriller, featuring interesting actors (most notably Anthony Hopkins and Sam Worthington) but restrained by the facts of the true story of beer magnate Freddy Heineken’s kidnapping in 1983 by a small group of unexperienced friends trying to get fast money through a ransom request.  Things don’t go as planned, especially once they do get the ransom and the group splits apart on ideological differences.  Worthington is the solid (maybe bland) anchor of the piece, with Hopkins providing a better performance than the film around him.  Otherwise, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken does blur into a generally lifeless crime story, aside from a bit of a twist toward the end.  It’s not bad, but it’s more ordinary than it should have been. 

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