The hardest part of a heist is getting away with it. This may appear to be a truism and, to an extent, it is. But planning can only get you so far: once you’ve stolen what you set out to steal, however, what happens next? Daniel Alfredson’s Kidnapping Mr. Heineken attempts to addresses this question. Based on actual events, it is the story of a group of construction workers who, in 1983, kidnapped beer magnate Alfred “Freddy” Heineken and held him hostage. The theft–in this case, of Heineken and his driver–goes according to plan, but, as Heineken’s abductors learn, what happens next cannot be planned for.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken isn’t so much a movie as it is an argument that four entertaining films could be made from this source material. There’s the lighthearted comedy about the gang who can’t shoot straight, literally: in the planning phase, a member of the gang led by Cor Van Hout (Jim Sturgess) fires a machine gun round into the ceiling of his apartment. There’s also the movie about the preternaturally talented thieves; Cor and co. magically transforming from bumbling construction workers into a group who successfully rob a bank and kidnap a businessman without getting caught. This, in turn, leads to the psychological thriller, as the kidnapped Mr. Heineken (Anthony Hopkins, at his Anthony Hopkinsiest) attempts to outwit his captors. Do not get too excited by the prospect of a taught battle of the wits; it is but fleeting, giving way to a clichéd story of men on the lam.

Alfredson does none of these stories justice. There are flickers of life in Kidnapping Mr. Heineken but they are quickly extinguished. Stuck in a padded cell, Hopkins is stuck playing Hannibal Lecter with neither humans nor scenery to chew. He struggles valiantly–perhaps more so than the real Mr. Heineken ever did–but his mindgames with Cor are fleeting. Likewise, the tension between the cerebral Cor and his hotheaded best friend, Willem (Sam Worthington) shows promise but goes largely unexplored. Although Alfredson’s brisk pacing ensures that Kidnapping Mr. Heineken never lags, this risk-free approach ensures that the film never lands any of its punches. The only character to escape Kidnapping Mr. Heineken with its dignity intact is the city of Amsterdam, showing off its entrancing architecture, waterways, and gritty industrial side. But it’s all in vain: Kidnapping Mr. Heineken promises four films for the price of one and ultimately delivers none.