Bruce Willis doing what he does best is the most accurate description of Hostage. The title is pretty much self-explanatory as we follow a burnt-out hostage negotiator who finds himself in the thick of it again. And again Ben Foster is the weird kid that is totally unpredictable, but I guess he just has that face. Make sure to check out his next movie, Alpha Dog as it’s pretty good. As for the rest of the actors, the kid really surprised me with great acting skills and Jonathan Tucker was good too. Two main things about this movie are the script and Bruce, and what more do you need? Granted, this isn’t the most original thriller on the planet but it sure is entertaining. You can always go check out Sleep Tight or The Uncertain Guest if you’re looking for authenticity.
Right from the impressive opening scene, Hostage showcases stylish visuals. The production values are good along with cinematography featuring those nice and saturated colors. Although I still can’t figure out how they were able to blow a $75 million budget on this. The story is quite good and authentic, which is not a surprise since it’s based on a novel by Robert Crais. The pacing is deliberate, slowly pulling you further into the story. This is above all, an undemanding hostage situation movie just flowing off the screen. However, you shouldn’t be expecting another Die Hard clone. Mostly because this is a character-driven thriller with a couple of intense action scenes.
Jeff Talley, a former LAPD hostage negotiator, after a failed negotiation decides to settle down to a much more boring town than Los Angeles. He moves to a small town with his wife and daughter (where are my wife and daughter?! bow chicka wow wow). He’s hoping to escape trouble but trouble finds him easily enough when three local losers decide to rob a wealthy family…
With a suspenseful atmosphere, Hostage makes almost two hours of running time feel like just an hour. There will be no dull or padded scenes in this carefully thought-out thriller. The movie actually hangs on some scenes, cranking up the suspense to the max. I also loved the mansion we will be spending much of our time exploring. It’s so decadently appealing that I was already mentally rearranging the furniture and planning where would be my drug den. Plus it’s got a pretty tight security system. A system that was easily beaten by our trio of young and intrepid criminals. So, there are some plot holes and suspend belief moments but the rest of the stuff should cover that up nicely.
Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out Pawn, it’s a true masterpiece of suspense.
Director: Florent Emilio Siri
Writers: Robert Crais, Doug Richardson
Cast: Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Jimmy Bennett, Michelle Horn, Ben Foster, Jonathan Tucker, Rumer Willis
Fun Facts: Bruce Willis’s daughter in the movie, Amanda, plays his daughter Rumer Willis. Rumer wanted the part, but Willis made her audition like everyone else and she got the part.