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‘Kidnapped’ Fails to Intrigue

Kidnapped may be a victim of 24-itis, or more importantly, NBC’s attempt to keep up with the Joneses. It’s that idea of having one singular event—in this case, the kidnapping of a wealthy businessman’s son—and making it last for an entire TV season. It also throws in that missing person, Without a Trace flavor.

But Kidnapped hardly lives up to the expectations placed upon it.

At least, the show has yet another solid, veteran-filled cast. Timothy Hutton stars as the workaholic but loving businessman, Conrad Cain, while Dana Delany plays his elegant wife, Ellie. They act appropriately distraught when they find out their precocious 15-year-old son, Leopold (Will Denton), has been taken. The kidnappers tell the Cains not to call the police—smart move, considering—so, they instead hire Knapp (Jeremy Sisto), an independent contractor of sorts, who may not be “good with people” but is “good at finding them.” He works with a partner, Turner (Carmen Ejogo), who’s attractive and sharp as a tack–and indeed, they seem to be good at what they do. If given the leeway to do it, that is.

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While the Cains want to Knapp to take over, Leopold’s bodyguard (Mykelti Williamson) throws a kink in the proceedings when, after getting shot during the kidnapping, he spills the beans to his friend, soon-to-be retired FBI Agent Latimer King (Delroy Lindo), who gets on the case immediately. Seems there’s some bad blood between Knapp and the Bureau, but it looks like they are going to have to work together to get the boy back. And so it goes.

Written by Jason Smilovic (Lucky Number Slevin), Kidnapped does set things up nicely. Hutton and Delany have a simmering chemistry together, even if Delany gets a bit over dramatic at times. And played with bravado by newcomer Denton, Leopold seems like he’ll be a kidnap victim to be reckoned with. The formidable Lindo (The Core) huffs and puffs, while Sisto (Six Feet Under) looks scruffy and rebellious in his hooded jacket. Yep, it’s all in place. But you just get the feeling Kidnapped would make a much better feature film than a TV series.

Bottom Line: Kidnapped looks to draw out abnormal amounts of tension, when it could just as easily be solved in a two-hour movie.

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