Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz
|Featuring||Bruce Willis, Jimmy Bennett, Jimmy Pinchak, Jonathan Tucker, Ben Foster, Robert Knepper|
|Director||Florent Emilio Siri|
|Producer||Mark Gordon, Arnold Rifkin, Bob Yari, Bruce Willis, Richard D Zanuck|
Would you sacrifice another family to save your own?
After 10 years in S.W.A.T., Jeff Talley (Bruce Willis—The Whole Ten Yards) has become one of Los Angeles’ best hostage negotiators. His style of building trust with kidnappers and keeping situations under control is legendary. However, when a hostage situation goes bad, Talley decides to work in a more low-key environment as a local police chief in Ventura County.
As with most hostage scenario movies, the tension level is good throughout. Although not completely unpredictable, there are plot turns that keep the excitement building. I don’t want to give away too many plot points, but Jeff Talley is forced to deal with multiple interacting hostage situations which come to a head at an exclusive mansion in the canyon hills area.
At first he considers giving up command of the situation to the county, but is forced to reassume command as the situation escalates. Will he negotiate the situation to a positive resolution or will it result in blood shed. It is a Bruce Willis movie after all, so you can probably guess that outcome.
Willis is his usual self—tough, hard-nosed, bald and sweaty. This role doesn’t extend him much beyond what we are familiar with in his other action pictures, but he is nonetheless still a good action star. Kevin Pollak (also from The Whole Ten Yards) plays the father of a kidnapped family. He is convincing and well cast. The three small time criminals who blunder their way into the situation are solid characters, although not particularly deep. Willis’ daughter by Demi Moore, Rumer Willis, plays Jeff Talley’s daughter.
In keeping with most Willis action films, “Hostage” lets loose with many, many four-letter words. I stop keeping count after 50, but my guess is that there were somewhere just south of 100 uses of such words, including about a dozen uses of the Lord’s name in vain. There is also graphic violence, but no nudity or sex.
All in all, the movie is entertaining if you enjoy the action/thriller genre, but nothing above the ordinary. Those with sensitivity to harsh language best stay away.
One small interesting note of theology occurs in an early scene. A kidnapper prays for forgiveness prior to killing himself and others. He tells Jeff that God has already decided who will live and die. Does God forgive us in advance of sin? Can we be truly repentant prior to committing a sin, i.e. can we be forgiven for a sin we are about to commit? True repentance requires the effort and heart to no longer commit sin, to flee from sin. And even though, as Psalm 139 declares, “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be” it is does not mean we are still not accountable for our actions. God is Sovereign, and man is accountable. Both are true.
Thankfully we can be forgiven, if we approach God with a truly repentant heart, “He is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But remember, the Apostle Paul warns us to never have the attitude of sinning more so that grace may abound more. “Go and sin no more,” were Christ’s words.