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Hostage

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Hostage

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Import Blu-Ray/Region A pressing. This well-made thriller harkens back to the gritty crime films of the 1970s. Bruce Willis plays Jeff Talley, a traumatized ex-LAPD hostage negotiator whose new career as small town sheriff doesn't turn out to be as restful as he had hoped; a hostage situation breaks out on 'low crime Tuesday' and he is thrown right back into the business he knows all too well. Some punk kids have shot a cop and are holed up in a local mansion inhabited by crooked accountant Walter Smith (Kevin Pollack), his two kids, and a lot of surveillance cameras. Walter's young son (Jimmy Bennett) escapes his bonds and reports to Talley from the air shafts via his sister's cell phone. The sister--a Goth teen played by Michelle Horn--draws the romantic attention of Mars (Ben Foster), the pot-addled sociopath in the gang, thus adding a unique twist to the damsel-in-distress factor. Meanwhile, amid the buzzing helicopters and mobilizing SWAT teams, another group of bad guys has kidnapped Talley's wife and daughter, in order to force him to retrieve a secret disc in Walter's study. Florent Siri's efficient direction keeps the action flowing in unexpected directions while allowing for plenty of interesting procedural details and sly bits of humour. The score is ominous and the performances are strong, with Foster memorably creepy and Willis excellent as the frightened hero

Review

You get two hostage crises for the price of one in Hostage, an overwrought but otherwise involving thriller grounded by Bruce Willis's solid lead performance. Making a dramatic pit-stop on his way to Die Hard 4, Willis plays a traumatized former Los Angeles hostage negotiator, now working as a nearly-divorced police chief in sleepy Ventura County, California. Willis suddenly finds himself amidst two potentially deadly stand-offs when a trio of hapless teenagers seize hostages in the fortress-like home of an accountant (Kevin Pollack) whose connections to organized crime result in Willis struggling to rescue his estranged wife and daughter, who are being held hostage by faceless thugs at an undisclosed location. Having directed two of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell video games, director Florent Siri brings plenty of slick, competent filmmaking to Willis's desperate dilemma, and the film boasts a gritty, graphic style that draws attention away from implausible plot twists. The bothersome, over-the-top performances by the teenaged villains also slightly compromise this gloomy but emotionally gripping adaptation of Robert Crais's novel, named as one of Amazon.com's best books of 2001. --Jeff Shannon --Amazon.com

Hostage