Directed by Luis Mandoki starring Charlize Theron, Kevin Bacon, Stuart Townsend, Courtney Love, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Dakota Fanning.

Will Jennings (Townsend) is a doctor who has a beautiful life, with wife Cheryl (Theron), daughter Abby (Fanning) and a patent on a new form of anaesthetic, which is about to make him obscenely rich. And it all falls apart within two minutes. While he's away at a conference, Abby is kidnapped by Joe Hickey (Bacon) and his cousin Marvin (Vince). They say it's how they make their living and offer the same deal each time: Marvin takes the child, Joe stays with the mother and if the money is paid over in 24 hours, life returns to 'normal'. And just so Will can't mess things up, Joe's wife Cheryl (Love) puts a gun on him in his hotel. Three victims, three very different kidnappers and a crime that's far more personal than Will and Cheryl know.

With Townsend and Love miscast and Vince and Fanning not getting too much screen time, Theron and Bacon save a film guaranteed to generate a backlash for using society's worst nightmare as the basis for its plot. Bacon's performance gets more over-the-top as the film progresses but there's a current of fear running through his scenes with Theron that becomes more powerful every time the story cuts to Townsend and Love. As Theron's Cheryl faces the fact that Bacon's Joe won't be satisfied with just money, Mandoki makes good use of the confined spaces and half chances, which she must use to her advantage.

However, once the film leaves the locations of house, hotel room and woodland hideout the downward spiral kicks in with a vengeance. There's a chase involving a sea plane, a motorway and Townsend's character putting the aircraft into nosedives so Bacon's won't know he's left the hotel room. It comes off as so silly that you wouldn't be surprised if BA, Murdock and rest of the A-Team were seen giving chase in a black and red van. They don't, but the ending would do them proud.

Harry Guerin