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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kidnapping Of The President (1980)

An unstable Latin American terrorist (Miguel Fernandes in a laughably bad performance), whose motives are less idealistic than monetary, concocts a plan to kidnap the U.S. President (Hal Holbrook) during a state visit to Toronto. This shockingly inept political thriller loses any semblance of believability because of the cartoonish characterizations of the three terrorists (in addition to Fernandes, there's Cindy Girling and Maury Chaykin) who couldn't kidnap a dog in real life much less the President and the ineptitude of the Secret Service as portrayed in the film which allows a President to be kidnapped so easily! As directed by George Mendeluk, there's no tension or excitement which is fatal to a thriller. Stuff like this was done far better in something like AIR FORCE ONE. With William Shatner as the Secret Service agent overseeing the rescue, Van Johnson (in the film's most difficult role) as the Vice President, Ava Gardner as his ambitious shrewish wife, Elizabeth Shepherd (TOMB OF LIGEIA) as the First Lady and Michael J. Reynolds representing the Canadian law enforcement.

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