★★★ | Kidnapping of Freddy Heineken

This film is a true sleeper, it had a limited cinema release earlier this year but now gets a DVD release.

It tells the true story of the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, the head of “that” brewing dynasty. It goes inside the gang responsible and shows their family links, how it escalated. It shows how these individuals went from owning a successful building company through to one of the worst recessions the world has seen that hit everyone, and finally to show how they planned and executed one of the biggest kidnappings in history.

It stars Jim Sturgess (21, Cloud Atlas), Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood, Home & Away) and Mark van Eeuwen as the main components of the group who, after being turned down for loans to help them through this tough period, and having their only piece of real estate occupied by squatters and therefore open to long and expensive legal battles to free it up, turn to crime.

This film paints them all as dreamers, people who didn’t want to live in the real world, people who wanted their boats and mansions and cars back, people willing to do anything, ANYTHING to get their old lives back.

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So, along comes the idea, after a successful bank job that will keep them afloat and food the new scheme.

The rest of history, and makes for a bloody good film. The back-story is intriguing, the plan ingenious and the rest of the film is gripping.

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Anthony Hopkins puts in a great turn as Freddy, showing little concern for his own safety and having fun with his captors as the whole scheme unravels.

This film scored a terrible 27/100 on Rotten Tomatoes, but I enjoyed it. It is entertaining, the story is intriguing and the cast put in good performances. It is no frills, no major special effects, but this means it doesn’t detract from the actual story, which is, for me, how it should be – the story is centre stage.

About the author: Chris Jones
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