Cast includes: Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon), Rene Russo (The Thomas Crown Affair), Gary Sinise (The Green Mile), Delroy Lindo (The Cider House Rules), Liv Schreiber (The Painted Veil)
Director: Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind)
Genre: Crime/suspense thriller (1996)
In brief: Ever wonder if money buys happiness? Tom Mullen, founder of Endeavor Charter Air, lives very well with his wife Kate and son Sean in their 5th Avenue penthouse apartment. From everything we see they’re a very happy family, indeed. At the same time, we’re following another little “family” who lives much less well and is not a happy group at all… but they’re planning to get some of what they feel they deserve by kidnapping young Sean and demanding a ransom.
When Sean disappears from Central Park, the family’s worst fears are confirmed after they receive an emailed photo of Sean tied up and blindfolded. The kidnappers want $2million in small bills. Of course, the family will pay. They’re rich after all. Two million is nothing to them. But when the money drop gets botched, Tom realizes something about the people who are holding their son. They never had any intention of letting him out alive. On the way to the second drop off, Tom has a change of heart. In a bold TV appearance, Tom puts the $2million on the table and announces that it’s no longer a ransom. It’s now a bounty for information leading to the arrest, capture or death of the kidnapper whose been stringing Tom along.
Tensions escalate on both sides. The kidnappers are at each other’s throats, and the Mullen family is torn, too. The FBI tells them that people who pay have much better odds. But Tom’s sure this is the only chance they have of getting Sean back alive. From this point on, it’s chaos… and tense psychological drama. Nothing goes as expected, and that’s why this one is so satisfying. It’s a tight, well-told story that still holds up, more than a decade later.
3 popped kernels
Popped kernels for the interesting story and good script with good plot twists.