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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (Blu-ray)
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (Blu-ray)
Other // R // April 14, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by William Harrison | posted April 13, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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THE FILM:

A film about the 1983 kidnapping of Heineken beer's Freddy Heineken should have been an interesting crime thriller. Actually, there is a strong, fictional retelling of this event starring Rutger Hauer: The Heineken Kidnapping. Where that Dutch film had a rich backstory to flesh out its victim's character, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken comes up short. The cast is stocked - Anthony Hopkins, Sam Worthington, Ryan Kwanten and Jim Sturgess - but the movie goes nowhere. Daniel Alfredson's drama spins its wheels for 95 minutes of dull exposition by unlikeable characters and never gives its audience a reason to care about anything that happens.

The backstory here is good stuff: A group of cash-strapped buddies kidnaps the owner of Heineken and holds him for ransom. Unfortunately, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken provides no context for the event and makes no attempt to show what happened afterward. Once Heineken (Hopkins) is kidnapped, his captors spend an hour bickering and whining about what to do next. This total lack of energy and curiosity is disappointing since Alfredson directed the successful Swedish film version of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels.

Hopkins is the only actor here to show a little energy, and he is strong in the few scenes where he portrays the angry, confused beer baron. None of the kidnappers is given any depth, and actors Sturgess, Worthington, Kwanten and company follow suit with uninvolved performances. They seem as bored on screen as I did watching this movie. Their previous work evicting squatters from abandoned buildings is barely mentioned, and the movie makes it seem like money is the only reason the guys decide to start committing such serious crimes.

I wanted to learn about Heineken and his company and what happened after the ordeal ended. The movie is content to present the kidnapping without any backstory or follow-through. This film is shockingly shallow and inept. The talent in front of and behind the camera is totally wasted here. Whatever inspiration went into this project never made it on screen.

THE BLU-RAY:

PICTURE:

The 2.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image is competent but unflashy. The bland, flat appearance mirrors the setting, but fine-object detail is readily apparent. Colors are muted but nicely saturated, and skin tones appear natural. I noted no issues with noise reduction or edge enhancement.

SOUND:

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is lightly immersive, though the film is largely dialogue-driven. Some brief action effects make use of the surrounds, and ambient street noise wafts to the rear. A 2.0 stereo mix is also included, as are English and Spanish subs.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

This single-disc release is packed in a standard case, which is wrapped in a slipcover. You only get seven minutes of Deleted Scenes here; nothing about the real kidnapping.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This is a dull, shallow, true-crime drama with uninteresting performances and repetitive exposition. A wasted opportunity to tell an interesting story. Skip It.

William lives in Burlington, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

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