Kidnapping Freddy Heineken




The true story of the abduction of the brewery heir proves to be quite an engaging affair, providing the kidnappers with an all-too human perspective.


Kidnapping Freddy Heineken

The captive art: Anthony Hopkins


1983; Amsterdam. Determined not to be trapped on the treadmill of a nine-to-five job, five Dutchmen hatch an audacious plan. They decide to kidnap the heir to the Heineken brewing empire and demand an outrageous ransom: 35 million Dutch guilders (€16m)…


Director Daniel Alfredson (brother of Tomas Alfredson, director of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has taken a familiar scenario and made it rather fresh. While his desperate quintet are essentially a bunch of amateurs, they are not treated as complete idiots. They are actually surprisingly courageous and resourceful men – and without a malevolent bone in their body.


Jim Sturgess makes an engaging ringleader, while Anthony Hopkins reins in the ham as their demanding kidnap victim, Alfred ‘Freddy’ Heineken. The crass 1980s’ ‘thriller’ music works both for and against the film, although the period detail is generally more functional than ostentatious. It could’ve been a little more gripping, but it’s an entertaining enough escapade.




Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Sam Worthington, Jim Sturgess, Ryan Kwanten, Jemima West, Thomas Cocquerel, David Dencik, Billy Slaughter.


Dir Daniel Alfredson, Pro Judy Cairo, Howard Meltzer and Michael A. Simpson, Screenplay William Brookfield, based on the book of the same name by Peter R. de Vries, Ph Fredrik Bäckar, Pro Des Hubert Pouille and Christopher Stull, Ed Håkan Karlsson, Music Clay Duncan and Lucas Vidal, Costumes Catherine Van Bree.


European Film Company/Informant Europe SPRL/Umedia-Signature Entertainment

94 mins. 2015. The Netherlands/Belgium/UK/USA. Rel: 3 April 2015. Cert. 15.