Original: Ransom! (1956)
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy Lindo, Lili Taylor, Liev Schreiber, Donnie Wahlberg, Evan Handler

Oh, the good old days when Mel Gibson was a formidable leading man, and not a Hollywood pariah struggling to regain his box office clout. Revisiting films like director Ron Howard's Ransom only reinforces the fact that, in his prime, Gibson was an exceptional movie star, an A-lister able to sell tickets while delivering exemplary performances.

As a movie, Ransom is a serviceable thriller, with consistent tension that's occasionally downgraded by predictability; playing a father who takes matters into his own hands after his son is kidnapped, though, Gibson is electric every second that he's on screen, single-handedly giving Howard's version the edge over the 1956 original.

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