Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, I personally owe you a lot considering your beer is one of my favourites, so natural I was delighted to see there was a movie about you! Turns out, Freddy was kidnapped by a bunch of bozos in Amsterdam and had the highest ransom in history paid for his return; this movie is based on the true story of that kidnapping (obviously).
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the acting… Anthony Hopkins is up to his usual standard of brilliance in the role of Heineken, who it seems was a complete smart ass / hard bastard throughout the entire kidnapping process. The gang of “down on their luck” career criminal bozos are Sam Worthington (that pretty Australian guy), Jim Sturgess (the main dude from Across the Universe), Ryan Kwanten (Jason from True Blood), Mark Van Euewen (not a guy I recognised from anything) and Thomas Cocquerel (ABC dramas).
The gang of bozos are… well.. decent. There was an issue where I wasn’t sure if the Australian actors were playing Australian characters or if the director just said “don’t even try to do an accent.” Kwanten slips between British and Australian accents for the entire movie though and it is extremely annoying. Generally the criminals hold their own with their acting throughout the movie especially considering not a single one of them is a likeable character.
TO THE PLOT. These guys are small time criminals, they decide that they are going to kidnap the richest man in Amsterdam and get paid a huuuge ransom (biggest one in history), get away with it and live happily ever after. They were very smart about it, I have to give you that! The way they go about the kidnapping is clever and surprising, but once they have Heineken things get pretty stagnant for a long time. DULLSVILLE.
The only redeeming scenes in the middle of this movie were the few short moments we saw Hopkins, he absolutely crushes it and carries this film solo for about an hour. Towards the end things pick up a bit more and we get to see some more well thought out, clever crime but there is also a very strong moral message which is thrown in your face over and over, subtlety is not even considered. And I can’t stress this enough, NONE of the criminals are guys you will want to succeed, there was one guy I liked for a while but then I realised that was just because he barely spoke..
If you like watching a clever crime unfold, give this a whirl. It’s reasonably entertaining has a few twists and turns and Hopkins as Heineken will give you quite a few lols, such a smart ass. It isn’t some huge blockbuster heist movie though and is a bit of a slow burn, which usually I like. The only reason I am down on this movie is because I just did not like the main characters, so I didn’t invest that much emotion.
Kidnapping Mr Heineken – “Meh, it was okay”
Here’s the trailer!