Hostage

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Rating: R

Starring:
Bruce Willis as Jeff Talley
Kevin Pollak as Walter Smith
Jimmy Bennett as Tommy Smith
Michelle Horn as Jennifer Smith
Ben Foster as Mars Krupcheck
Jonathan Tucker as Dennis Kelly
Marshall Allman as Kevin Kelly
Serena Scott Thomas as Jane Talley
Rumer Willis as Amanda Talley
Kim Coates as The Watchman
Robert Knepper as Wil Bechler
Tina Lifford as Laura Shoemaker
Ransford Doherty as Mike Anders
Marjean Holden as Carol Flores
Michael D. Roberts as Ridley

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary

Extended Scenes With Optional Commentary

Taking Hostage Behind The Scenes

Audio Commentary By Director

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 113 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Action superstar Bruce Willis (Sin City, Die Hard, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, Pulp Fiction) powers a nail-biting thriller that crackles with action and suspense! When Jeff Talley (Willis) became chief of police in a sleepy town, he thought he’d left behind the traumas of his career as a big city hostage negotiator. But when a random crime escalates into a deadly standoff, Talley finds himself thrust into a situation far more volatile and terrifying than anything he could ever imagine! Also starring Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects, The Whole Nine Yards), Jonathan Tucker (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Ben Foster (Six Feet Under, The Punisher), this acclaimed hit is based on the best-selling novel by Robert Crais.”

Hostage is rated R for strong graphic violence, language, and some drug use.

The Movie:
Hostage kind of came and went from theaters pretty quickly. Being a fan of Bruce Willis, I wanted to check it out but never got the chance to. Since it disappeared so quickly, I was kind of worried that it wouldn’t be that good. I was pleasantly surprised to find Hostage to be a solid thriller.

Hostage takes your standard hostage film and puts a few twists and turns on it to make it feel new. I can’t get into too many details without ruining the surprises, but by the end of the movie you don’t know who the hostage is anymore. There are several different plotlines all unfolding at the same time. You have the plight of the family as the young punks take them hostage. You have Bruce Willis as Jeff Talley who finds himself in a position where he must choose between his duty as a police officer and his duty as a father. You have the conflict between the hostage takers as well. It all comes together at the end in a satisfying way.

The acting in this movie is good, too. Bruce Willis has proven himself over and over and he continues to do so in Hostage. In fact, his presence and his history playing cops in films like Die Hard add a lot of weight to his character in this movie. That extra baggage actually helps him right off the bat. Rumer Willis, Bruce Willis’ daughter, also plays Amanda Talley in the movie. It helps add to the realism of his performance knowing they have a real father/daughter relationship. Kevin Pollak delivers a good performance as Walter Smith, the accountant that is taken hostage. While he’s out of action for most of the movie, what little time he does have is well used. His kids, played by Jimmy Bennett as Tommy Smith and Michelle Horn as Jennifer Smith are pretty clever and resourceful as the primary hostages. Finally, you have Ben Foster as Mars Krupcheck, Jonathan Tucker as Dennis Kelly, and Marshall Allman as Kevin Kelly. They make a good trio of thugs and hostage takers. My only gripe is that the character of Mars wasn’t developed as much. It makes it a little hard to buy his transition late in the film.

Hostage is pretty slick looking as well. French director Florent Siri has mainly directed Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six video games, but this movie proves he’s capable of handling bigger projects. The opening scene of the film where there’s a dramatic pull back from a hostage situation shows he has an eye for the dramatic. (I did find it odd, though, that the opening credits all used the Star Wars font for the text. Why use such a recognizable font?)

If you’re in the mood for a suspenseful thriller then Hostage is a movie you should find well worth checking out. Fans of Bruce Willis should add this to their ‘must see’ list.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD:

Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary – There are about 6 deleted scenes. Most of the cuts seem to have been made to make Willis’ character less dark. One deleted scene shows him drinking on the job. Another shows his daughter telling him she saw him try and commit suicide. One of the scenes gives a little more background between the teen hostage takers. They tell how they met up. In short, these deleted scenes are pretty good supplements to the movie.

Extended Scenes With Optional Commentary – There are two extended scenes. One shows a couple of brief glimpses between two characters at the end (I can’t elaborate without ruining it). Another shows a little more of Willis in one scene. It’s not much.

Taking Hostage Behind The Scenes – This is your standard “making of” video. It was obviously made to hype the movie before its release. All the cast and crew are interviewed and there’s your standard behind the scenes footage. The cast members rave about Willis and they manage to take time to talk to the police consultant they used in the movie.

Audio Commentary By Director – Florent Siri delivers the commentary for the movie. He talks a bit about why he did certain scenes, what it was like working with Willis, etc.

The Bottom Line:
Hostage is a good thriller that is well worth checking out despite its brief theatrical run. Fans of Bruce Willis should find it particularly enjoyable.

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