Hey Shatner punched me!
George Hollo | Denton, TX USA | 03/25/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Forget that Shatner is at his hammiest best, forget that Hal Holbrook is the President we'd all like to have, forget the Police Chief of Toronto is played by the "Nabob Coffee Guy," what you want to take away from this video is that I was in this movie and Shatner punched me in the gut just before the President gets handcuffed to the guy with the dynamite-now THAT'S action!Stompy"
A Typical 80s Shatner movie
Michael Bieke | Wyoming | 04/27/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As part of a look at the portrayl of the President throughout the decades, I took a look at Kidnapping. Compared to the other movies I watched, State of the Union (1948), Seven Days in May (1964), and The American President (1995), this is by far the worst. With its nonsenical plot in which Shatner gives the President to the terrorist to ultimate victory by a herotic Shatner, this movie is mundane, dull, and pointless. Typical non-Star Trek Shatner in the 80s. A definate "Don't Buy" unless you're researching a project."
Shatner And Holbrook Set The Table For The Ham And Cheese Co
Robert I. Hedges | 03/27/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
""The Kidnapping of the President" is a cheesy film from 1980 with lots of big names in their joint creative declines. This made in Canada cheapie is set in Toronto and boils down to this: Holbrook has been warned by Secret Service agent Shatner (as Jerry O'Connor) of a threat on his life there, and he recommends not going, while the bone-headed and arrogant head of the CIA wants to be in charge of the security detail, and at first appears to prevail, as Holbrook goes to Toronto. There is lots of over-the-top dialogue in the film, the worst case being when Shatner is told "Toronto's going to be a piece of cake," and he ominously replies "They said the same thing about Dallas." Boo!
Once in Canada, they immediately run afoul of murderous South American Marxist guerrillas led by Roberto Assanti (Miguel Fernandes), who have an elaborate and idiotic plan to kidnap the President for political pursuits and personal profits. Apparently sensing his Canadian roots, Shatner in his best T. J. Hooker impression hammily plows through the situation in which the terrorist puts Holbrook in an armored car with explosives inside, and it's now a game of beat the clock. I can't rightly say how many tenets of law enforcement are violated by willingly giving over the President to a known murderer and terrorist, but you will have no difficulty in spotting many of them yourself.
Assanti turns himself in while the ineffective bribe-taking Vice President (Van Johnson) debates about whether or not to meet the demands of the terrorists (they want $100 million in diamonds and two airplanes with a midnight deadline; via radio Holbrook defiantly says no.) In his most trying hour, Holbrook resists more than anyone thought he could amidst the pathos. The wife of the VP (Ava Gardner in one of her least palatable roles) is a horrible manipulative shrew who sees this as an opportunity for her husband to ascend politically, and advises him accordingly. There's a lot of subplots going on here to suit the multi-star cast, including a particularly rancid story about the First Lady's false sprained ankle.
Ultimately Shatner gets one of the Marxist terrorists to flip on Assanti as he killed her sister, and with the information he develops he comes up with a plan to get the President out of the truck by going through the engine and firewall with a cutting torch. This part is so stupid, you'll just have to watch it yourself to believe it. The brave Holbrook is rescued in the nick of time in a very lame scene, and good triumphs over evil once again.
This bloated piece of political swill combined the time-honored elements of many fading stars with subplots for each, and a time-sensitive hostage crisis (we've certainly, and normally unfortunately, seen these features many times since), with the product being an overwrought action film with an especially hammy performance by Shatner.