On the Big Board
|Much better than expected, but fairly grim and probably not for everyone.
|Hostage is infrequently riveting but oftentimes obtuse. The intense conflict among the invaders belongs in a better film.
In a film that returns Bruce Willis to the Die Hard-esque action genre that has been so kind to him, Hostage will center around a character named Jeff Talley (Willis), a former LAPD hostage negotiator. Haunted by his inability to save a child from a suicidal madman, he leaves Los Angeles and moves away from his wife and daughter. He accepts the job of police chief of the upscale suburb Bristo Camino, but the ghosts of his past come back to haunt him when two brothers and their mysterious companion take a family hostage after a failed robbery.
Though the gunmen don't know it, one of their hostages turns out to be a numbers runner for a West Coast kingpin named Sonny Benza, and the house where they are holding the group contains some of the evidence that could put the mob boss in jail.
Benza's solution? He kidnaps Tally's wife and daughter and blackmails the new police chief into finding the evidence that might incriminate him. The situation grows even more desperate when Tally learns that the mysterious companion of the original hostage takers is a serial killer named Mars Krupcheck. He's already considering making his hostages and maybe even his accomplices his next victims.
The movie is based on a novel by thriller writer Robert Crais. It will mark the first North American film for French director Florent Emilio Siri, who is actually best known stateside for his work on the well-received video game Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. (Kim Hollis/BOP)