When a family is held hostage, former hostage negotiator Jeff Talley arrives at the scene. Talley's own family is kidnapped and Talley must decide which is more important: saving a family he... Read allWhen a family is held hostage, former hostage negotiator Jeff Talley arrives at the scene. Talley's own family is kidnapped and Talley must decide which is more important: saving a family he doesn't even know or saving his own family.When a family is held hostage, former hostage negotiator Jeff Talley arrives at the scene. Talley's own family is kidnapped and Talley must decide which is more important: saving a family he doesn't even know or saving his own family.
However, I would recommend that you not go into the movie expecting a Die Hard clone. Hostage sacrifices heavy action and humor for a darker, more character-driven tale, and it works. THIS is how a thriller should be! Things start off on an intense note as we see a grizzled-looking Bruce Willis attempting to negotiate with a psycho who has locked himself and his family in their house. He's got a gun, and he's clearly not right in the head. I will not reveal what happens, but flash forward a year later and having burnt himself out in the negotiation business, Willis is now a police chief in a smaller town. You think he'll be called on to use his negotiation skills again? If you say "no" then please let me slap you upon the cheek.
The thrills only intensify from there once the trailer park trio takes Kevin Pollack's family hostage. I really like the fact that we have two sets of bad guys here. There are the white collar criminals who remain faceless, yet ruthless in their desire to get what they want. Then there are the blue collar boys who make a stupid mistake and get in way over their heads.
I also appreciate the fact that the blue collar bad boys aren't one-dimensional. Jonathan Tucker plays the older brother (Dennis Kelly), and he does a great job of making his character somewhat sympathetic. He's a small-time wannabe tough guy who gets himself in a very bad situation that only escalates as the movie progresses. As the situation worsens, we see that Dennis regrets what he's done. He obviously wants to be anywhere else at the moment. He's scared, but he continues to try to talk tough. He's reaping the consequences of falling in with the likes of Mars.
Mars, portrayed by the show-stealing Ben Foster, is a long-haired, black clothes-wearing troublemaker. His back story is completely a mystery at the beginning, but we deliberately begin to see that he may not be quite as sympathetic as the others. Is he pure evil? Cold-blooded? Misunderstood? Regretful? Revealing anything would be a disservice to your viewing enjoyment, so I'm not saying anymore except that the character is very well-developed.
I know it's only March, but other than Million Dollar Baby, Hostage is the best movie I've seen this year. If you want a fun, suspenseful night at the movies then ignore the critics whining and moaning about clichés and improbabilities and go check out Hostage. I love the irony in the fact that half of the negative reviews on Rottentomatoes complain about the clichés in the movie. Wow, at least THAT complaint isn't cliché or anything. Try a little originality yourself.
Some of these critics like to go to Wal-Mart before a movie like this and purchase the biggest, most industrial strength Nitpicker they can find. You didn't know that was an actual tool? Oh yes. They're owned by every single uptight critic who white-knuckle clenches his Movie Snobbery PhD degree at all action and thriller movies. Don't listen to 'em. Hostage is a movie for movie fans, not movie elitists.
THE GIST Are you in the mood for a dark, intense, edge-of-your seat thriller? Then Hostage will most certainly entertain. If you're the type of moviegoer who only knows how to complain about clichés and coincidences then I'm sure you'll do the same here. I recommend loosening up and enjoying life a little.
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
- Mar 10, 2005