Slow Motion, Pretentious Visuals Wound 'Hostage'

By Gire, Dann | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 11, 2005 | Go to article overview

Slow Motion, Pretentious Visuals Wound 'Hostage'


Gire, Dann, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Dann Gire Daily Herald Film Critic

"Hostage"

out of four

Opens today

Starring As

Bruce Willis Jeff Talley

Kevin Pollack Walter Smith

Ben Foster Mars

Jonathan Tucker Dennis

Marshall Allman Kevin

Rumer Willis Amanda Talley

Written by Doug Richardson; based on the novel by Robert Crais. Produced by Bruce Willis, Arnold Rifkin, Mark Gordon and Bob Yari. Directed by Florent Siri. A Miramax Films release. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). Running time: 113 minutes.

"Hostage" isn't just a Bruce Willis action movie. It's like several Bruce Willis action movies rolled into one.

It steals the hostage premise from Willis' breakthrough action thriller "Die Hard."

It purloins a plot twist from the sequel "Die Harder: Die Hard II."

Then, like "Tears of the Sun," it careens off a cliff, crashes and burns.

"Hostage" casts Willis (who produced as well) as Jeff Talley, an L.A. SWAT team leader who miscalculates a situation and winds up with a dead mother and child on his conscience.

Despondent, he becomes the police chief of a sleepy little hamlet in Northern California where he thinks the living will be easy with his wife Jane (Serena Scott Thomas) and daughter Amanda (Rumer Willis, Bruce's kid).

That doesn't last long.

Three local punks - two brothers and a pal - spot Walter Smith (Kevin Pollack) tooling along with daughter Jennifer (Michelle Horn) in his Cadillac SUV. The thugs follow them to their fortress- like mansion in the hills.

The home invasion goes awry when a silent alarm brings a cop, and the pal thug with the appropriate name of Mars (Ben Foster) plugs her point blank and fires on responding cops.

Pressed back into the very situation he tried to avoid, Talley figures on letting the sheriff or feds handle the case. …

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Slow Motion, Pretentious Visuals Wound 'Hostage'
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