“Kidnapped”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
April 24, 2007

Full of drama, suspense, and action, Kidnapped has all the makings of a taut whodunit. When the teenage son of a wealthy family is kidnapped, Conrad (Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People) and Ellie (Dana Delaney, China Beach) Cain hire a renegade investigator named Knapp (Jeremy Sisto, Six Feet Under) to get their child back.

Knapp is abrasive and not at all concerned with breaking the law as long as he is able to save the victim. Still, he could work on his people skills. As one old woman asks, as he bullies his way into her house, “What kind of name is Knapp?” She’s got a point. Unless you’re famous, announcing yourself simply by your last name is pretty pretentious.

All 13 episodes of this NBC series–which aired during the 2006-2007 season–are included on this three-disc DVD set.

And unlike many shows that are canceled within a year, Kidnapped offers viewers closure and a finite ending.

While the first few episodes dealing with the kidnapping are gripping, the show layers on some subplots that fail. Is Ellie having an affair with a prominent politician? Did Conrad kill his ex-mistress? Neither character is particularly likeable, so the viewer doesn’t really care.

Hutton, who is superb in so many other projects, never rings true here. Speaking in a tough guy accent (when he remembers), his character is never convincing as a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who made good.

And Delaney is never quite believable as an uptown girl who doesn’t get particularly flustered when she has to protect herself from an assailant. (Explaining her ease handling weapons, Ellie says, “I know how to shoot a gun. My father’s a Republican.”)

Other characters get to delivery clunky lines as well. When FBI agent Latimer King (Delroy Lindo, Get Shorty) is asked if he thinks there’s a leak in the office, he knowingly says, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”

Like ABC’s Murder One, Kidnapped asks a lot of its viewers to have patience and watch a drama unfold over a series of several months. The problem is that unlike Murder One–which was also low rated–the plot here isn’t nearly convincing enough to be warrant the wait.

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