FBMR - Hostage
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

HOSTAGE (2005) ***1/2

Bruce Willis plays former hostage negotiator turned small-town cop, Jeff Talley. When three two-bit punks attempt a home invasion in Talley’s small town, it quickly becomes a hostage situation. Talley readily relinquishes jurisdiction to the local county sheriff’s department when they arrives to take over. But what the three punks don’t know is that they have kidnapped Walter Smith (Kevin Pollack), an accountant linked to organized crime, who was about to deliver some very important data. They still need the data from inside the house. In order to guarantee co-operation, Talley’s wife and daughter, themselves, are kidnapped and held hostage, with Talley now forced to retrieve the data from the house under siege.

This multi-level, multi-conflict, interwoven story made for a great suspense/thriller with a fair amount of action thrown in. Often, one story takes precedence over another if there are more than one storylines. Or sometimes they don’t overlap or are not well interconnected. This film is different, and it works well.

Not only is this film well-written, based on Robert Crais’ novel of the same name, but it is well acted. Willis shows us strength as well as vulnerability. He masterfully combining the “superhuman” hero similar to the DIE HARD movies with the very human characters he’s played in The Sixth Sense and 12 Monkeys. He is more than just a two dimensional caricature. Ben Foster plays the creepy psychotic punk Mars. He doesn’t speak much, but his eyes leer more than words need for us to know he’s a dangerous person. Another standout performance belongs to young Jimmy Bennett who plays Tommy Smith, one of the hostages in the Smith mansion.

This movie kept me on the edge of my seat. It had its share of hair-pin turns and plot twists. I found it to be a great roller-coaster ride, with some realistic humanity to it. Everyone doesn’t always survive a hostage situation.