Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty (1995)

Dabney Coleman in Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty (1995)

An FBI Crime Comedy

When the son of a wealthy business man is kidnapped FBI agents Pete Honeycutt (Timothy Busfield - Striking Distance) and Lily Yee (Lauren Tom) are put on the case. Pete believes he is the best man for the case as he doesn't stop till he gets his man, something which means he is constantly letting down his son and wife. But Pete finds cracking this kidnapping case harder than he expects as the man is he after is Arthur Milo (Dabney Coleman - Dragnet) an IRS officer who uses the information he has on people's finances to work out who to kidnap children from to hold them to ransom.

"Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty" is another movie from the generally entertaining "In the Line of Duty" series which takes true crime stories and dramatize them. Now I have watched quite a few of these movies and generally they are serious affairs as we follow the cops and FBI as they try and solve a specific crime but "Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty" is different as it has a lighter tone which often throws in moments of humour. That does two things; firstly it makes this weak as a drama based on a true crime but secondly it makes it entertaining because of those moments of humour.

Timothy Busfield in Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty (1995)

Now that does leave me conflicted because as a crime story "Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty" ended up by the book, there is a crime, there if the FBI, there is an agent who is so dedicated to work he is never there for his wife or child. You almost get a sense that rather trying to dramatize the true story they took the basic facts and then squeezed them in to that familiar set up which in fairness has some twists now and then which help lift the basic story a bit. But the humour of it all be it Agent Milo talking to the parents of the kidnapped child and getting his name wrong to his sarcastic tone around others including telling a very tall agent to hide in the trunk is fun.

The thing is that whilst the numerous moments of humour end up softening the actual drama they work because of the cast. Dabney Coleman as Arthur Milo is this mix of offbeat and caring which makes him this strange mix of bad guy but a nice guy, well what kidnapper do you know who sings a child a lullaby to help them sleep. And then Timothy Busfield brings plenty of sarcasm to the role of Pete Honeycutt dropping wise cracks in almost every scene whilst also ramping up the stereotypical aspect of his work obsessed father.

What this all boils down to is that "Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty" whilst not the best movie in the series it is still entertaining thanks to the moments of humour which make it very different to those other movies.