Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise and Rene Russo
If you love films such as 'Taken' and 'The Taking of Pelham 123' then you absolutely must watch this fresh and innovative take on the thriller, hostage genre.
Ransom follows the story of Tom Mullen a self professed millionaire, airline owner who has fallen victim to a hostage situation with a twist. The millionaire, Tom Mullen, is played by Mel Gibson; who gives a surprisingly strong and consistent performance. Amidst the chaos of the hostage situation Tom is under scrutiny after it has been claimed that he paid a criminal off in order to cover the illegal dealings going on within his company.
Mel Gibson's acting is strong and really helps add to the already gripping concept. What is really exciting about this film is the method used to catch the criminal and how it all comes together in the end. I will try not to give any spoilers away, but in most hostage films the protagonist will usually end up confronting the hostage taker in a final nail biting scene, this film goes against that common convention in way that is innovative, clever and refreshingly brilliant. Mel takes a seemingly uncertain decision to offer the ransom money to any one who can give the location of the criminals and his son. This creates an interesting dynamic as the life of his son is quite literally on a knife edge... Or at least that's the way it may seems.
I have to admit I was never a big fan of Mel Gibson; I've never really warmed to him as an actor. After seeing this film however I think that I may have to re-visit some of the greater moments of his career.
Any decent hostage film would not be complete with out decent criminals. The two of merit for me would have to be, the less intelligent brother, Cubby Barnes played by Donny Whalburg, who had been dragged into this mess by his older sibling and also his need for money. Although he does meet quite a grizzly demise I felt he was great to watch, bringing great emotion to his character. The second astounding performance came from the bent cop, named Jimmy Shafer who was played by Gary Sinise. Aside from his amazing acting what really stood out for me was what an incredible face he has, I really think that his alien like features added to the whole cold corrupt nature of his character.
In summary then I would definitely recommend you see this film any way you can, it is a refreshing change to a genre of film which has become somewhat saturated over the past few years. If you want to see Mel Gibson on top form then go see this film!!