CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Crime
  • 2005
  • 113 mins

Hostage

Hostage

Synopsis

A hostage negotiator has to call upon all of his resources when his own family are at risk. Thriller starring Bruce Willis and Kevin Pollak

About

Hostage is a thriller with the odd moment of old school stand and deliver action. Bruce Willis stars as Jeff Tally, a Los Angeles hostage negotiator who quits his job after failing to save a child from a suicidal loon. Relocating away from his wife (Scott Thomas) and daughter (Rumur Willis), Tally takes up a police position in the quiet town of Bristo Camino in rural California. His peace, however, is soon shattered when three tearaway teens (Tucker, Foster and Bennett) take a family hostage following a botched theft.

With the siege quickly escalating, Tally finds himself in a situation he hoped never to face again. But as he addresses the problem at hand, it soon becomes apparent that this is unlike any dilemma he's ever faced before - one in which the future of his own family is at stake.

Adapted from Robert Crais' novel by Doug Richardson (screenwriter on Die Hard 2 and the upcoming Die Hard 4.0), Hostage owes debts to all manner of other kidnap thrillers. In particular, it draws rather too heavily on the tone of Ron Howard's Ransom. Proceedings are also hampered by the stylistic flourishes of French director Florent Emilio Siri, who's too keen to impart what he learned from making two hit 'Splinter Cell' videogames. That said, Hostage does have a number of decent thrills. And there are moments of real menace too, many of them coming courtesy of Kevin Pollak's enigmatic Mr Smith.

As for the performances, Willis is very good, if perhaps a little shy of his excellent work in Twelve Monkeys. Making the concerns of fatherhood apparent to even the childless, his is a measured turn which again proves that action heroes are all the more likeable and convincing if they occasionally let their guard down. Serena Scott Thomas also hits her straps, and it's nice to see this attractive actress rescued from Patsy Kensit-style obscurity.

The younger performers also deserve praise, even if Tucker and his cronies are a little on the hysterical side and Rumur Willis could do with being more like her dad and less like her mother. And having schlepped his way through The Whole Nine/The Whole Ten Yards debacles alongside Willis, it's nice to see Kevin Pollak being rewarded with a role worthy of his talents. If only all involved had something a little less predictable to sink their teeth into.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Bruce Willis, Michelle Horn, Jimmy Pinchak, Jonathan Tucker, Jimmy Bennett, Ben Foster, Rumur Willis, Serena Scott Thomas, Kevin Pollak
  • Director: Florent Emilio Siri
  • Screen Writer: Doug Richardson
  • Writer (Book): Robert Crais
  • Producer: Arnold Rifkin, Mark Gordon, Bob Yari
  • Photographer: Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci
  • Composer: Alexandre Desplat

In a nutshell

It's neither a great nor incredibly original thriller, but Hostage has its fair share of tense moments. And while Bruce Willis isn't at the peak of his powers, he reminds us that he's one action hero who isn't afraid to act.

by Richard Luck

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Night Passage

    Night Passage

    James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws

  • Film4 Raiders From Beneath The Sea

    Raiders From Beneath The Seas

    Scuba-divers plan a bank robbery on Catalina island, but not everything goes to plan when it comes to their underwater escape

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Gearing up for the Glasgow Film Festival 2015

    The Glasgow Film Festival programme is announced and features Film4-backed films Second Coming and Catch Me Daddy plus much, much more, from 18th February to 1st March It¿s almost time once more for

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance

    As Louise Osmond's inspirational documentary about an unlikely group of friends who breed themselves a racehorse is about to premiere at Sundance 2015, Catherine Bray catches up with the director for

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share