The crime of unlawfully seizing and carrying away a person by force or fraud, or seizing and detaining a person against his or her will with an intent to carry that person away at a later time.
Yes, it is different in every jurisdiction or locality as well as from state to state. The court in the jurisdiction makes the ultimate decision or definition. But we don’t need either a court based description, or definition from a law-book, or from a dictionary to know that this is indeed a serious crime.
In this discussion, over the next few days, I am going to have a look at three separate films, set in three separate countries, that involve a kidnapping. Please do not assume that because I’m watching films about kidnappings, that I am in any way positive about the crime or its perpetrators. These are film reviews, not social commentaries.
Man on Fire (2004) – Directed by Tony Scott with a screen play by Brian Helgeland from the A.J. Quinnell novel. Set in Mexico City – Denzel Washington stars as John Creasy, a former assassin once employed by a certain government agency. He’s done enough in his life that he’s not particularly proud of. These days he’s down to two friends. One is a former colleague, Rayburn (played by Christopher Walken). Creasy decides to give his friend an unannounced drop in for a open-ended visit.
Creasy’s other friend is a bottle of whatever – whisky, scotch, bourbon or as he calls it: Jack – in short anything that pours. Rayburn hooks Creasy up with a job opportunity. He’ll be working for a rich family as a body-guard. The couple, Samuel and Lisa Ramos are a family of wealthy industrialists.
They have a nine-year old daughter Pita that he will be in charge of. In his interview with Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) Creasy is asked if there’s anything that the Ramos family should be aware of. Creasy answers – I drink.
At this particular time in Mexico City – there have been a wave of kidnappings. In the recent six days before Creasy accepts the assignment – there were twenty-four kidnappings. This crime has become a cottage industry.
Creasy’s not interested in the job, or the young girl he must protect, Pita, played by Dakota Fanning. But he’s a burned out operative now without a portfolio or anything else coming his way. So he accepts the position. As expected, he and the precocious young girl don’t hit it off. She’s likeable enough, and smart, but Creasy’s not interested in becoming friends. But Pita will wear him down and a friendship will blossom.