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Introduce yourself early to the edge of your seat.
9/10 Tense. Engrossing. Gripping from start to finish. All words to describe a conversation with Johnny Betts. But they also adequately describe Bruce Willis' latest movie Hostage. The movie could also be referred to as Redemption because that's definitely what you'll see this as if you have been disappointed with Bruce's recent efforts.5 years ago
However, I would recommend that you not go into the movie expecting a Die Hard clone. Hostage sacrifices heavy action and humor for a darker, more character-driven tale, and it works. THIS is how a thriller should be! Things start off on an intense note as we see a grizzled-looking Bruce Willis attempting to negotiate with a psycho who has locked himself and his family in their house. He's got a gun, and he's clearly not right in the head. I will not reveal what happens, but flash forward a year later and having burnt himself out in the negotiation business, Willis is now a police chief in a smaller town. You think he'll be called on to use his negotiation skills again? If you say "no" then please let me slap you upon the cheek.
The thrills only intensify from there once the trailer park trio takes Kevin Pollack's family hostage. I really like the fact that we have two sets of bad guys here. There are the white collar criminals who remain faceless, yet ruthless in their desire to get what they want. Then there are the blue collar boys who make a stupid mistake and get in way over their heads.
I also appreciate the fact that the blue collar bad boys aren't one-dimensional. Jonathan Tucker plays the older brother (Dennis Kelly), and he does a great job of making his character somewhat sympathetic. He's a small-time wannabe tough guy who gets himself in a very bad situation that only escalates as the movie progresses. As the situation worsens, we see that Dennis regrets what he's done. He obviously wants to be anywhere else at the moment. He's scared, but he continues to try to talk tough. He's reaping the consequences of falling in with the likes of Mars.
Mars, portrayed by the show-stealing Ben Foster, is a long-haired, black clothes-wearing troublemaker. His back story is completely a mystery at the beginning, but we deliberately begin to see that he may not be quite as sympathetic as the others. Is he pure evil? Cold-blooded? Misunderstood? Regretful? Revealing anything would be a disservice to your viewing enjoyment, so I'm not saying anymore except that the character is very well-developed.
I know it's only March, but other than Million Dollar Baby, Hostage is the best movie I've seen this year. If you want a fun, suspenseful night at the movies then ignore the critics whining and moaning about cliches and improbabilities and go check out Hostage. I love the irony in the fact that half of the negative reviews on Rottentomatoes complain about the cliches in the movie. Wow, at least THAT complaint isn't cliche or anything. Try a little originality yourself.
Some of these critics like to go to Wal-Mart before a movie like this and purchase the biggest, most industrial strength Nitpicker they can find. You didn't know that was an actual tool? Oh yes. They're owned by every single uptight critic who white-knuckle clenches his Movie Snobbery PhD degree at all action and thriller movies. Don't listen to 'em. Hostage is a movie for movie fans, not movie elitists.
THE GIST Are you in the mood for a dark, intense, edge-of-your seat thriller? Then Hostage will most certainly entertain. If you're the type of moviegoer who only knows how to complain about cliches and coincidences then I'm sure you'll do the same here. I recommend loosening up and enjoying life a little.
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
Challenging the clichés
9/10 I just saw Hostage today at an advanced screening and I liked it! It seems to have all the elements of the Bruce Willis action movie, so one might think it cannot surprise anymore. Then again, you rarely see a bad Bruce Willis movie. It has the opening failure of the perfect cop, and the almost "post traumatic stress" side to the character who then moves into a smaller town, but carries his burden along with him.5 years ago
But this time, Bruce Willis doesn't seem all that perfect, he is scared, his voice is shaking in several situations and even cries. He still saves the day, but he's a lot more... human. And the guy is pretty good at this, too.
Then there are the really powerful scenes that shake your soul! Young actor Ben Foster is involved in many of them and does a terrific (literally and figuratively speaking) job! There are also some unexpected resolutions and some even less expected symbolic shots.
Bottom line is, Hostage is a good pick not only for the action/thriller fan, but also for any movie goer.
IT ROCKS! This is a Bruce Willis we did not see for a long time!
9/10 I saw Hostage in a German Pressscreening and I was blown away. Visually stunning from the first second to the last. The director Florent Siri nails every frame. He kept me on the edge of the seat from beginning to the end.5 years ago
In the last years Bruce Willis disappointed me. His last movies I found very lame. But here, he is back as the great Action dude, he is famous for. But Hostage is not another "die hard"-flick. It is different. With more Drama, much darker and less humor is Hostage one of the most adult (means grown up) Action Thriller I saw in Years.
The story is great. No cheap tricks, every second is well written, superb acted and directed. The same with the soundtrack and - as I said before - the visuals.
Hostage is a kind of violent Film noir in a MTV a like style. A real ride. I don't want to tell much about the story. Go and see!
Well-acted and Emotional Action Thriller
9/10 I went into this movie with moderate expectations, but was very impressed with how good it was. Thoroughly entertaining from start to finish, Hostage offered some great action, drama, emotion and most of all some fantastic acting, mainly by Bruce Willis and Ben Foster. I have not always enjoyed Willis' movies, but this one was reminiscent of some of his better roles, ie. Die Hard and Sixth Sense.5 years ago
I have read some of the media's reviews of this film and some have been unjustifiable harsh. Were they watching the same movie? Once again, I am glad that I did not listen to the critics because I would have missed this movie. If you are in the mood for a tense, gritty thriller with believable and emotional characters, Hostage will not disappoint. I give it 8.5/10.
This movie rocks!!!!!!
10/10 I just saw this movie at an early screening. Loved it! It was a psychological thriller, scarier than I expected. Ben Foster, who plays Mars, is amazing, the best! Very sinister and portrays Mars with great capability. The movie was darker than I expected, but I liked it better this way, it was more believable and scarier...a real thrill ride!! There is not one actor that could've done a better job. Bruce Willis is his great usual self, he is heroic and tough. Jimmy Bennet who plays Tommy is so unbelievably cute, as well. He also is great in the movie. The movie has a film noir feeling to it, which is really cool. The score appeals to the film noir aspect as well. I also agree with the other voters in that the movie is very visual, not sugarcoated or anything like that. I was kept on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie with the suspenseful twists that I didn't expect. All in all, I loved it, and will be first in line to pay to see it again on the big screen opening day. I would recommend this movie for those who like thrillers, suspense, action, and those who are just looking to see a really good movie. Hope this review helps! People should definitely see this movie, so go see it!5 years ago