"Kidnapping Mr. Heineken" is exactly what it promises, a story about the 1982 abduction of Dutch brewery mogul Freddy Heineken by a band of five desperate, tight-knit criminal novices.
Childhood pals and failed partners in an Amsterdam construction business, Cor Van Hout (Jim Sturgess), Jan Boelaard (Ryan Kwanten), Willem Holledeer (Sam Worthington), Martin Erkamps (Thomas Cocquerel) and Frans Meijer (Mark Van Eewen) work out an elaborate scheme to swipe and hold Heineken (Anthony Hopkins) and his chauffeur. The longer-than-planned response to the gang's demands, however, stirs psychological discord.
But after a frenzied first half of macho lawbreaking action and undernourished character-building, director Daniel Alfredson is left with a dreary and predictable collect-and-scatter second act. The mix of accents in the cast (English, Australian, Dutch) is distracting as well, while Hopkins, tapped entirely for star power it seems, mostly sits in a padded cell and rages or mutters to himself.
Despite its true-events pedigree, "Kidnapping Mr. Heineken" is woefully captive to B-movie crime saga tropes.
'Kidnapping Mr. Heineken'
MPAA rating: R for language.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle Noho 7.