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Let This Hostage Go
Feb 8, 2008 (Updated Aug 12, 2010)
by Mark Baker
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:The premise and first half entertain
Cons:The second half takes the first and ruins it.
The Bottom Line: Don't let this movie capture you.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
I'm not a big Robert Crais fan, but I have read a couple of his mystery novels and enjoyed them. When I first heard that a movie version of his stand alone thriller Hostage was being made, I must admit I was curious. The R rating kept me away, but when I saw it was on TV, I couldn't pass it up. Turns out, I should have.
Jeff Talley (Bruce Willis) is a top hostage negotiator in Los Angeles. But when one case ends badly, Jeff retires from the business. A year later, he's the Sheriff in a small Southern California town where nothing ever happens.
Unfortunately, that's about to change. When three criminals attempt to steal a car, they wind up taking three hostages instead. Walter Smith (Kevin Pollak), one of the hostages, has something to hide as well. Jeff is ready to turn the case over to someone else when his wife and daughter are kidnapped. Now he has to keep his family alive without compromising the hostages in the house. Can he do it?
Now let's make one thing perfectly clear. I am not rating this movie based on the content. I knew going in that this was an R rated film. Since I saw it on cable, most of the swear words were deleted (rather hilariously, I might add). I don't know if the violence was toned down or not, but there was still plenty of it there, especially near the climax. But by choosing to watch this film, I agreed to deal with that content, so any fault lies with me.
I am rating this movie poorly mainly for the story. It started out strong, introducing us to some interesting and sympathetic characters. The twists were nicely handled, even though I knew most of them going in. About the half way point, I was really getting into this film.
But then things started going downhill. The further things went into the story, the more preposterous things became. By the time I was done, I was wondering what the point was. The ending was poorly thought out and didn't leave us with any real sense of dramatic satisfaction. Part of that is because characters start doing things that make no sense.
The uneven acting didn't help things. Bruce Willis certainly did a great job as Jeff. He made every moment believable. Well, as believable as he could considering the material. Equally good was Jimmy Bennett as the young boy taken hostage. Most of the rest of the cast isn't that great, resorting to overacting. Maybe that's why the characters got on my nerves. The hostage takers are all equally bad with their acting, but the worst offender of the entire cast is Michelle Horn, who plays another hostage.
I've heard that the novel's fans were highly disappointed with this movie because it strayed from the book. I guess I'm going to have to read the book to see for myself. It wouldn't take much to make it better then the mess that was Hostage.
Hostage - the Novel
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Viewing Format: DVD
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age
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