Tom Mullen is a successful airline owner. His son, Sean, was kidnapped and held for ransom. Tom however, to everyones astonishment, appears on the TV news and unexpectedly turns the tables on the kidnappers leader, by offering money for his head. This step changes the kidnappers plans.
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this is really a great movie. One of the best ever. Ron Howard againdelivers an excellent picture after the great APOLLO 13. It is a completelydifferent movie, but equally great in its own way and an ideal next moviefor Howard after his 1995 movie. The acting and script are absolutelytop-notch, the movie keeps you on the edge right to the end. What makes thismovie special are the unexpected twists it takes, but it never getsridiculous or implausible. After all those shallow summer action spectacles,it was refreshing for me to see this intelligent action picture on TV. Ithought it was going another movie with top-drawer actors and a Z-gradescript. How wrong I was. This movie has a fantastic script and the directionis excellent. It is an exceptionally well-crafted movie. Please, do not missthis movie. You'd be missing something REALLY good.
This review is from: Ransom (Special Edition) (DVD) I thought I had already reviewed this product. I love this movie.I hate when the site updates there sites and can't keep the ratings and notes on the items.
Although this is actually a remake of a 1940s film in which theprotagonist turns the tables unexpectedly on his child's kidnappers,this very well produced film directed by Ron Howard is quitecontemporary and sophisticated. Mel Gibson shines as the controversialdeveloper who has had shady dealings with union reps on his way tofantastic wealth, and is pursued unsuccessfully by the FBI even whilethey are suddenly called in to help on his son's kidnapping. Whenthings go from bad to worst, Gibson takes control of the negotiation,and suddenly all hell breaks loose. This is an entertaining and quitesuspenseful film, with a terrific supporting cast that includes ReneRusso as Gibson's wife, Gary Senise as a duplicitous local cop, andMark Wahlberg as one of the kidnappers. The plot takes some interestingtwists and turns, and although it is not predictable, all works outquite well in the end. Or does it. In order to see, you'll just have towatch this very well made suspense thriller for yourself. Enjoy!
This film was a little too typical for my tastes. The characters follow too many of the same motions as have already been carried out in many other movies by many other characters. There wasn't much originality. That doesn't mean that this wasn't a good film. The cast is filled with strong actors, and they really make theis film work.
This movie started to lose me when the plot had Mel turning up the heat onthe kidnappers. I mean, don't kidnappers usually return the heat, with asevered finger or ear of the victim, showing up in the mail! Does anyoneremember the Getty case? I kept thinking to myself, yes this is Hollywood -but do they seriously expect us/me to believe this rubbish.Cops and robbers films need credible scripts that leave the viewer thinking- "well, yes this could actually happen". This is the prime essentialingredient of a thriller or drama. This film never made me feel that way. Ibecame annoyed, thinking that I was being served a load of tripe. Thismovie would best be categorised in the fantasy realm - it would neverhappen. Waste your money if you have to, as I did.
clever but much, much too long. . .The plot is clever, with some surprises along the way.One weakness is that it is stretched out and goes on and on, as when itdiscusses the pros and cons of giving in to the kidnappers.Another weakness is the over-acting and over-dramatizing of two overly emotional immature parents.
Mel Gibson seems a likable sort of guy, his recent tsurisnotwithstanding. It would be great to have a beer with him and have himtry to explain his current predicament. As an actor, however, I findhim rather bland. I keep seeing Mel Gibson instead of the character. Hedoes a better job than usual here. He's surprisingly good at projectingfear of physical harm, almost as good as he is at wisecracking.The supporting cast is fine too. Gary Sinese is a rogue cop who haskidnapped Gibson's and Renee Russo's young boy, ask for two milliondollars in ransom, and plan to off the kid anyway because he's awitness. Lili Taylor is good as Sinese's rapacious girl friend who (forreasons I don't quite understand) turns on him at the end and is shotfull of holes for her effort. The script gives us a Sinese who iscompletely cold blooded except for his love for Taylor, so his havingto shoot her is an act that leaves him basically empty of everythingbut bitterness. Nothing goes the way he planned. And at everyfrustration, every new glitch, he blasphemes and kicks furniture. Weall know how he feels. There is also DelRoy Lindo with the biggest chinin the business.We feel sorry for the doomed kidnapped kid, of course, but the dramasurrounding the nest of kidnappers on the one hand (which include LievSchreiber) and Gibson, the millionaire airline owner on the other hand,swamps any real emotional involvement with the kid's plight. On a chessboard he'd be a lowly pawn.And that brings up the part of the movie that has me wondering aboutwhat, exactly, it is trying to say.Sinese is holding the kid and asking for two million. Gibson, who caneasily afford twice that amount, tries to cooperate. The first attemptat a drop is botched. Half-way through the second, it occurs to Gibson,in the absence of any evidence, that they're going to kill his son nomatter what he does. Pay or not pay -- it makes no difference.So instead of being the compliant victim, he turns into an openantagonist. Gibson goes on TV and announces that, yes, he has the twomillion. Here it is, right on the desk, in unmarked bills. But thekidnappers will never see a cent of it because he will never pay them,convinced as he is that his son is dead meat anyway. So instead of aransom, Gibson designates the money as a reward for whoever drops thedime on the kidnappers. "Do you know anyone who would NOT turn you infor two million dollars?", he asks. (I'd turn my mother in for thatmuch. I'd turn my ex in for nothing.) Later, Gibson ups the reward tofour million.The movie lost me at about this point because I couldn't graspprecisely what Gibson's motives were. The police, the FBI, TVjournalists, and his wife all beg him to pay the ransom. (It's halfRusso's kid too, isn't it? Yet he doesn't discuss his decision withher.) And though of course there is always a risk that the kid will beoffed anyway -- think Lindbergh -- there's at least an equal chancethat the kidnappers will return the kid and avoid murder charges.Instead of betting the percentages, Gibson turns into a kind of JohnWayne figure. It's a duel of wills between him and Sinese. I keptwaiting for Gibson to come up with some John Wayne-ism like, "Talkin'words is fer wimmin." What the hell is he playing at? His kid's life isat stake. His unshakable belief that they intend to kill his son anywayis not rooted in facts but only serves as an excuse for Gibson toout-tough Sinese.A scene near the inevitable final shoot-out is very well handled.Sinese, whose identity as one of the criminals has not been uncovered,shows up to collect the four million dollar reward from Gibson. Gibsongradually becomes aware of Sinese's involvement, and Sinese graduallybecomes aware of Gibson's awareness. Sinese tosses thefour-million-dollar check in the air and it glides to the floor in aneat shot.The violent climax was a bit anti-climactic. Gibson winds up in themiddle of a New York City street pounding the disabled Sinese to abloody pulp while the audience is supposed to be cheering and thetraffic whizzes unflappably by. And guess who gets to shoot Sinese inthe last scene? It's all supposed to be cathartic, I suppose. Thewriters and director must have thought the audience is slavering at theprospect of finally seeing Gibson loose his rage on Sinese, but it'sdisappointing all the same. What has so far been a contest of wills andintelligence has become a routine blood bath.
"Ransom" is one of the more intelligent movies I have ever seen. Apart from being a very well made thriller, it's thought provoking, too. In fact, "Ransom" is game theory relevant, because the strategies of the adversary, as I shall call him, and the father - can be analyzed from a game theoretic point of view, within "the game of ransom".Optimal mechanism design suggests that some strategies dominate others on the part of the father. If we generalize the setup of the game a little, we will see that any organization facing a similar danger can be analyzed within a simple mechanism design setup. Let's stick to the film case in what follows. Given the objectives of the adversary, the father maximizes his objective function by never giving up to the adversary's requests, and thus removing the lever of advantage the adversary has on him. The sole power of the adversary stems from the fact that he came into possession of the good or a person, which or who is of enormous value to the father - in this case, the father's offspring. By applying a "commitment technology", the father eliminates the adversary's advantage, and as long as he is able to stick to his wits and his strategy, i.e. have a credible commitment, also apparent to the adversary, the latter has little incentive to continue, since the mechanism of terror he planned, and counted for - stopped working. It's obvious that having acquired the offspring, the adversary has no incentive to keep him alive regardless of achieving his monetary goal. In fact, getting rid of the offspring permanently dominates the strategy of fulfilling his promise, and giving the child back. If the father predicts the incentives of the adversary correctly, he knows his offspring will pass away irrespective of his action. Therefore no matter how difficult it is emotionally, how hard it is on the mother, he should assume that the offspring would pass away, if he follows the adversary's instructions. At this point, the equilibrium strategy emerges quite clearly. In any equilibrium of the " game", the father should never pay the adversary. Also, in any equilibrium of the "ransom game", the probability of the offspring passing away is one, unless the incentives of the adversary are removed by applying credible commitment on the part of the father with respect to the optimal strategy. The latter is to hunt down the adversary, and have him removed, devoting all resources to this end. Only in this way the offspring has the chance to live, as the adversary's best response to the father's strategy is to back off and return the offspring. This is true because returning the offspring as a strategy dominates the strategy of keeping him hidden, since no reward is to be expected, and the utility of being hunted by the whole world is less than the utility of returning the offspring AND trying another case, where the other father might not follow his optimal strategy."Ransom" is a very good film, very well made with respect to the traditional elements of a thriller - suspense, action, and credible screenplay. However, it's much more than that. It's a very conservative film in the sense that it praises following the rules of the game instead of emotions. What needs to be done is done, regardless. Almost identical motivational scheme could be used for justification of very harsh and rigorous law. I applaud Mel Gibson for creating a memorable role, and I applaud the screenplay writer and the director for offering us one of the most intelligent films that have ever been made. The fact that this film is also game theory relevant raises the rating.
What would you do if a child of yours was taken from you and put up for ransom? That is the question that director Ron Howard ("Apollo 13") leaves the audience to ponder in his action-thriller "Ransom", starring Mel Gibson ("Braveheart" & `Lethal Weapon' franchise), Rene Russo ("Lethal Weapon 3"), and Gary Sinise ("Forrest Gump")."Ransom" is the story of multi-millionaire airline executive Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson), whose charmed life is flipped upside down when a gang of criminals kidnap his only son. Asking for a hefty ransom while threatening to kill the child if the family doesn't pay, Mullen and his wife (Rene Russo) choose to pay the ransom. However, due to police mistakes the ransom drop is botched, leaving Tom to wonder what will happen if he continues to rely solely on the police and the F.B.I. to solve this case and return his son to him safely. That is when this desperate father does what no one thought possible, he turns the tables on the kidnappers by placing a bounty on their heads. Now with the kidnappers on the ropes and tensions high, it's a battle against time and fate for the kidnappers to make their decision and for Mullen to get his son back alive.This critically acclaimed box office smash had the perfect blend of action, suspense, and drama all carefully crafted by Academy Award winning director Ron Howard and his producer Brian Grazer. With outstanding performances by the entire cast, especially Mel Gibson and Gary Sinise who shine brightly in every scene, there is not a single weak moment in this entire film. With plenty of twists and turns that will keep your head spinning so that you don't know whose right and wrong, "Ransom" is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end."Ransom" is a definite must-see, it would be a huge mistake on anyone's part not to watch this movie."Ransom" is rated R for violence and language.
Ok before I tell you about this movie just let me tell you just rent thismovie because the first time you see this movie your on the edge of yourseat, but after that it gets so old. Don't take it the wrong way I lovedthis movie staring Mel Gibson, Gary Sinse, Rene Russo, Delrory Lindo,DonnieWalberg, and Liev Scriebier. Mel Gibson is Tom Mullen, whose life issuddenly shattered when his son is abducted and held for randsom by a gangofcriminals! Then Mullen takes matters into his own hands... turning thetables on the kidnappers in a last-effort to rescue his boy fom thecriminals! Randsom also includes a great ensemble cast from director RonHoward(A Beautiful Mind) including Mel Gibson(Braveheart), ReneRusso(LethalWeapon 4), Gary Sinse(Apollo 13), Delrory Lindo(The One), DonnieWalberg(Dreamcatcher), and Liev Scriebier(Scream 2) make a great actionpacked film with surprising twists that will keep you guessing andguessing!
VHS Memory Theater is a series of reviews in which I review movies Iown on VHS and see whether or not it still holds up and if it's worthbuying on DVD.Purchase History: 1997 from Columbia House first ever director'sselection VHS tape I owned and part of the very first group of VHStapes I ever got from Columbia House.Important Milestone: First R-rated movie I ever saw. I was 5 at thetime.Ransom tells a pretty routine story. A child gets kidnapped and theparents attempt to get him back. This probably wouldn't be anythingspecial if it didn't have a few twists and most of all, Mel Gibson. Inthis movie, he plays Tom Mullen, a millionaire and while you don'tthink it's a character you could sympathize with. Gibson makes himlikable and you really feel for him when he loses his son. At first, hedecides to cooperate with the kidnappers because he just wants to gethis son back. But when plans go awry, he decides to take matters in hisown hands. Gary Sinise plays a police officer who has a dark secretthat may connect him with Tom and his son. I don't want to say toomuch, it's better if you find out as you watch it. Ransom is alwaysentertaining and a lot of that is due to Gibson's performance. It'saction-packed and is well made with director Ron Howard andscreenwriter Richard Price in tow.How does this hold up? I still love it as much as I did when I was akid. I'll admit, I didn't see this recently. I saw it a few months ago,but my memory is pretty good.Is it worth double dipping on DVD? Definitely.Rating: 10
Ransom is not just another everyday action flick, this is an excellentportrayal of a man who feels his accumulated power faceless in a bizarresituation. Mel Gibson as the business tycoon who will break but not bend,gives off a brilliant performance. rene russo again scintillates in the roleof the mother torn.the movie is gripping and strangely, very believable. the credit for thismust go to mel gibson for being so convincing. he shows why he is one of thebest actors today.the movie will appeal to viewers who like their movies fast paced and with alot of action, but at the same time with a good plot, intelligent script andcredible action. this is a rare, intelligent action-thriller, where thediscerning viewer is not insulted.a credible 8!
...doesn?t take a lot of risks, but it packs surprise after surprise..
"Ransom" is no ordinary kidnapping thriller. It's a tense andbelievable thrill ride where even the people who seem to be in controlare in fact not. And they know it.Self-made airline tycoon Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) has it all: abeautiful wife (Rene Russo), an intelligent young son (Brawley Nolte),and a thriving business. That's all about to change when his son iskidnapped. The FBI, led by Lonnie Hawkins (Delroy Lindo), is on thecase, but after a mishap, Tom loses confidence in their abilities toget his son back. Tom decides to turn the tables on the kidnappers:he's offering the 2 million dollar ransom as a bounty for thekidnappers.The best thing about "Ransom" is that no one knows who's in control.Tom may be calling the shots, but he's very aware that this gamblecould end in disaster, something that neither his wife, Lonnie, nor thekidnappers are happy about. However, it also could turn in his favor:the kidnappers know that this is an opportunity to get the whole ransomthat they were going to split between them.Mel Gibson is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and for goodreason: not only is he very photogenic, he's an effective performer.Mullen is a desperate man, but taking risks is what he does best.Gibson is well-cast in the role. Rene Russo was the go-to female starfor mainstream movies, but her career has fallen recently. While she'sno Meryl Streep, she's a good actress. She doesn't have the juiciestpart, but she's no mere housewife, and Russo makes the most of it. I'venever been a fan of Delroy Lindo; his delivery seems pretty hammy inhis performances, and there's no reason why Lonnie couldn't have beenplayed by someone better. Gary Sinise is good, but too low-key.Ron Howard started his career as a teenage actor, but now he's one ofthe hottest directors in Hollywood. Howard knows how to make a movie."Ransom" is suspenseful and unpredictable. It's efficiently made andinvolving. What more could one ask for? The only problem I have withthe film is the ending. It's not what happens (it's more or lessinevitable), but Howard obviously did it the way he did as a concessionto the studios: the last couple of minutes are so wildly improbable andover the top it destroys the taut level of suspense that has been builtup.Nevertheless, the majority of the film is well worth it.
Ransom has some nice twists and turns in the plot-- when the victim becomesthe aggressor everything changes. As usual Gary Sinese was exceptional asthe cold, calculating bad guy and Gibson as an impassioned father. ReneRusso also is very credible as the wife/mother of a son in danger.... Asatisfying film with enough plot to keep the movie moving at a fast pace.
Good action thriller that actually gets better as the movie progresses.Goodall around production and will satisfy most fans of this genre.Very goodperformance by Gibson.Could have been better if it had an even higherquality script.Not a typical average pop thriller.Has a good edge to it.Onlyfor fans of the genre and for big fans of the lead actors......
It is the stupidest and least thought out film of 1996. The decisions madeby some of the characters made little sense. If this film was made in theearly 80's then it would have been marketed off as an exciting vigilanteflick with Charles Bronson in the lead role. Ransom has to be one of MelGibson's worst performances as an actor.Many things that happen in the film are without purpose or sense. Oneexample is the scene when one of the kidnappers is shot and killed duringthe first ransom pickup(it doesn't make sense to kill the the only personwho could lead not only to Tom's son, but accomplices as well). The movieis poorly done and contains the usual two demensinal characters seen in manyof todays' films in Hollywood. This shows that Ron Howard is much better atdepicting sentiment and family life then he is at action andsuspense.
After watching this movie some 15 times and counting I'm still not gettingbored of the film.I thought that the film held its plot well throughout the entire film andwith an all star cast including Donnie Walgberg & Gary Sinse makes excellentviewing.Superb Drama, Thriller and once again a good performance by both Gibson &Russo
I felt very different about this movie throughout but overall I would say I liked it.A interesting film that was good but could have been great. This movie almost fet rushed and Gary Sinise was the person I felt did the worst. As a fan of most of his work he lacked everything a villian in that kind of movie should have:a real personality,spunk,style and cold hearted.If you like Mel Gibson see it. You mite get a kick out of it.
i'm terrible at writing summaries and such, i'm especially bad at using bigwords such as the ones i've read on here. but one word i know describesthismovie - terrific. the acting is superb, the story is fascinating, and thedirecting is even better. i think that is all you really need to hear. seeit, but it didn't get rated R for nothing so if you don't like f-words andeverything else, don't watch it.