Florent Siri's HOSTAGE
Review by Dennis D. McDonald
This surprisingly intelligent and well made hostage drama is another high quality vehicle for Bruce Willis (Tears of the Sun, Hart's War, Sin City) in which he demonstrates again his ability to put behind his earlier "Anybody else want to negotiate?" persona.
I say "surprisingly" since the story sounds pretty run of the mill: big city hostage negotiator has disastrous outcome in which a hostage is killed, moves to small town and becomes police chief to escape his past, then is faced with a nasty hostage situation in his own backyard.
I say "intelligent" since, even though the story is pretty much what I describe above, the individual characters and plot points are fleshed out well enough that the overall production has an aura of believability and drama that benefits greatly from the director's attention to technical and dramatic detail.
Not that there is a lack of action. This is an extremely kinetic movie in which people and camera are in constant motion, sometimes in the open air, sometimes in claustrophobic surroundings, but there is much movement. And bullets, And explosions. And helicopters. And SWAT teams. And night vision goggles. Basically, there's everything an action movie fan will want, too.
Here's hoping that Willis and director Seri team up again!
I was disappointed by the director's commentary. Many times he lapses into describing what is on screen. He sounds to me like a director who is much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of the microphone.
The deleted scenes are interesting and would have added some subtleties to the movie but you can take them or leave them.
The production featurette is the usual fluff where actors talk about how good everybody else is.
Sound wise the surround effects in this movie are terrific. If you like to crank up the volume you will not be disappointed.