In less than five minutes, the Spanish-language "Kidnapped" already has packed in about as much tension and action as many films can muster across their whole. You may wonder how director Miguel Ángel Vivas can keep the pace going; you may not be surprised to learn he doesn't as the movie-length flashback then begins.
Jaime (Fernando Cayo, "The Skin I Live In") is the man whose job has allowed him to buy a beautiful new home for him and his wife (Ana Wagener, "Biutiful") and their slightly unruly teen daughter (Manuela Vellés). On their first night there, you're lulled into their mild bickering and bantering just enough for you to be jostled when three black-masked men burst through the glass.
While one of the intruders takes Jaime for a tour of nearby ATM machines, the others stay behind with the women, where the ever-present threat of rape hangs overhead. Then "Kidnapped" grows increasingly boring, with only sporadic flashes of activity as you await the story to catch up to the prologue.
Far from a unique plot, "Kidnapped" is at least told well in visuals, with Vivas shooting long, sustained, handheld takes that cut rarely. At two key points in the picture, the screen splits to show two perspectives occurring simultaneously. It's effective in waking you up, but hardly enough to save a project already up to its eyebrows in quicksand. —Rod Lott