Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (REVIEW)

KFH

Kidnapping Freddy Heineken is a fast-paced film about the real life kidnapping of one of Amsterdam's richest men in the early 1980's.

In 1983, beer magnate Freddy Heineken was kidnapped right in front of his Amsterdam home. Kidnapping Freddy Heineken is about this event, and the six men who committed the crime.

Cor (Jim Sturgess) and his fellow pals are down on their luck, with a failed business, no money, with wives and girlfriends, and children on the way. They need money, so they hatch a plan; kidnap one of the wealthiest men in their city - Freddy Heineken. But before they do this, they need to get their hands on some real money in order to successfully (and professionally) kidnap Heineken, so they rob a bank, and pull it off.

Now with their newly found resources, they minutely plan the kidnapping, renting a warehouse on the edge of town, buying equipment and vehicles, and spending weeks training for the actual kidnapping. Then the day comes - and they snatch Heineken (played by Anthony Hopkins) and his driver Ab (David Dencik) right in front of Heneiken's luxurious brownstone. Heineken and Ab are held in the warehouse for days and days on end, and a ransom of 35 million Dutch guilders (about $20 million) is asked for their safe return. Cor and co-ringleader (and Cor's brother-in-law) Willem (Sam Worthington) are confident they will pull this off. Jan (Ryan Kwanten), meanwhile, is less so and has second thoughts on their dirty scheme. Weeks and weeks go by and the ransom is not paid, and tension among the group gets worse, but eventually the men get their money, and the hostages are found by the police. Weeks later, all men involved are arrested.

Kidnapping Freddy Heineken is based on the 1987 book of the same name by Peter R. de Vries. It's a compelling, dramatically told story, directed by Daniel Alfredson, that's fast-paced and quickly edited. And all the performances are very good, especially Sturgess as the ringleader, and Thomas Cocquerel as Martin 'Brakes' Erkamps, the youngest of the gang. Hopkins, always good, doesn't have much to do, he's a prisoner in a small room, taunting his captors, waiting and waiting. At a short 95 minutes, Kidnapping Freddy Heineken provides a lot of action in the short period of time. Out on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 8, 2015.