Sunday, November 27, 2005

HOSTAGE

Bruce Willis Hostage Movie Directed by Florent Emilio Siri
Starring Bruce Willis
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



JUST ABOUT AVERAGE...FILM REVIEW RATING: JUST ABOUT AVERAGE...

Bruce Willis is a great action actor. His Die Hard series gave us some raucous dialogue, explosions galore, and interesting situations.

Not to be outdone, Willis makes a return to the silver screen as a former hostage negotiator for the L.A.P.D named Jeff Talley. I say former because his last negotiation ended with the death of three people, a distraught hostage taker and his wife and young boy.

Years later we find Chief Talley living a mundane life just outside bustling L.A. But times still haven't been that good for him. His wife is on the verge of leaving him, his daughter is rebelling, and now a new hostage situation breaks out at a wealthy man's home within Talley's jurisdiction.

But, not surprising, there is much more than meets the eye...

Three foolish young boys (who were just looking to steal a car) turn hostage takers within the rich man's house and find that the house can turn into a fortress (metal bars blocking entrances, surveillance cameras, etc.). And they find a safe with tons of cash in it. Why would a man keep that much money on hand?

Enter the "real" bad guys. They want a CD that's in the house which apparently has damaging information on it related to money laundering for the mob (although this isn't spelled out, it is easily surmised). And these real bad guys kidnap Chief Talley's wife and daughter and tell him he must get that disc out of the house or his family will be killed.

But inside the house are the stupid kids turned hostage takers and the rich house owner's two children (a pre-teen boy and a teenage girl). Will Talley have to sacrifice one family to save his own?

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The film is entertaining if a bit stilted. Initially no one is supposed to approach the house, but Willis' character does with ridiculous regularity.

Willis' character, too, has to convince his own officers that he's doing the right thing even when it's painfully obvious he's not, which stretched credibility.

The ending was flat-out lost on me, too. There's no way Willis's character would be able to walk away from an incident like that. Either the mob or the law (or probably both) would be all over him. I'm not going to give away the ending here, but let's just say that if I were an L.A. County District Attorney, I'd have a field day with this case.

Click here for the Hostage movie trailer!

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