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Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (2015) good movie
Netherlands / UK, 95 min, Rated 14A (ON) 13+ (QC)
Reviewed 03/15, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Daniel Alfredson - Director
William Brookfield - Screenplay
Fredrik Bäckar - Cinematography


"The film tells the story of what has been called 'the most notorious kidnapping of the 20st Century,' which resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for an individual at that time. Freddy Heineken (played by Hopkins) and his chauffeur, Ab Doderer, were kidnapped in 1983 and released on a ransom of 35 million Dutch guldens (the equivalent of about 50 million dollars today)." - informantmedia.com/films/kidnapping-mr-heineken/


Sam Worthington steals the spotlight in acclaimed director Daniel Alfredson's marginally enjoyable drama based on a true crime story, as one of five working class friends who almost got away with kidnapping for ransom Dutch brewery billionaire Alfred 'Freddy' Heineken in 1983. Worthington portrays personable thug Willem Holleeder opposite co-star Jim Sturgess as Holleeder's more idealistic brother-in-law and budding criminal mastermind, Cor van Hout, with Anthony Hopkins rounding out the primary cast as their wily hostage Freddy, Mr. Heineken to the rest of us.

Over-all a straight-faced big screen account, possibly the second funniest thing about this real life caper as adapted by William Brookfield's fairly unsophisticated screenplay is that kidnappers Holleeder, van Hout, Frans Meijer, Jan Boellard and Martin Erkamps successfully robbed a local Amsterdam bank at gunpoint in broad daylight to finance their big scheme, yet didn't think to stop after managing to completely evade police capture for that heist. Stacks of stolen money made them richer than ever, but greedy commitment or just really bad math skills made them stick to their far more difficult tycoon-nabbing retirement plan.

A funnier scene is slightly reminiscent of the thick-skulled gaffs seen in the real kidnap-for-ransom inspired comedy Pain & Gain (2013). Here, in the process of cleverly overcoming the chance a fingerprint accidentally contaminated their as-yet delivered ransom note, the boys stupidly forget the original typewritten draft in a nearby business office's photocopier until later the next day. Definitely a memorable high point, but this isn't a comedy.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, the movie, is adapted from Dutch investigative journalist Peter R. de Vries' 1987 true crime book, The Kidnapping of Alfred Heineken, based on testimony and interviews de Vries conducted as a newspaper reporter covering the case at the time. The kidnappers held Heineken and his driver hostage in sound proof cells hidden in a business park storage shed for months, until they got their payday ransom of 35 million guilders (approximately $19.5 million U.S. back then). All five gang members were eventually caught and imprisoned, with de Vries hunting down one of them in Paraguay.

The sensational story of the Heineken Kidnapping is the stuff of movie blockbusters. However, this movie tends to pare and tame larger-than-life high points that brought you to this show. Sure, there's action at times. None of it particularly draws you in for more than a heartbeat. Kidnapping Mr. Heineken quickly becomes a small screen collective character study heavily reliant on what its cast of talent can do with a relatively simple script. The result has you waiting for big moments that never transpire, while Worthington and Hopkins - surrounded by familiar stock acting - effortlessly breathe life into their all too brief and undemanding roles. They keep you watching.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is entertaining enough as a second choice rental, but it could have been a lot more satisfying. Turning a potentially action-packed, emotionally intense true crime story into a distilled character study told from the perspective of the kidnappers would have worked fine if this feature had been afforded a meticulously well-crafted script crackling with compelling dialogue that transcends documented testimony. Yeah, no. That crackling bit never happens. Ultimately, a paying audience is barely given much reason to care about the characters this screenplay studies before the rolling end credits illicit an adrenaline rush craving. Reviewed 03/15, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is rated 14A by the Ontario Film Review Board, citing mild sexual references, coarse language, and restrained portrayals of non-graphic violence, and is rated 13+ by la Régie du Cinéma in Québec.

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showtimes: http://www.google.ca/movies?near=kanata-ottawa&hl=en&view=map&date=0


Website: http://kidnappingmrheinekenmovie.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btP3N0vKVDc
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2917388/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_Freddy_Heineken
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KidnappingMrHeineken
Plus: http://informantmedia.com/films/kidnapping-mr-heineken/

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