Hostage | Chicago Reader

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The title of this brainlessly efficient action thriller should be plural: one family is held hostage by hoods in its deluxe southern California home, while another, belonging to the local police chief (Bruce Willis), is kidnapped to force him to retrieve incriminating evidence from the site of the standoff. (I'm not even counting another hostage in the prologue.) Director Florent Emilio Siri increases the bombast with a particularly pretentious use of slow motion, and Willis, who doubled as executive producer, seems at pains to underline his character's sanity and sensitivity in contrast to the subhuman demeanor of most of the villains. (The worst wear black masks and headdresses, faintly suggesting Arabs once the action reaches war-movie proportions.) Doug Richardson adapted a novel by Robert Crais; with Kevin Pollak, Jonathan Tucker, Ben Foster, Michelle Horn, and Willis's daughter Rumer playing the cop's daughter. R, 113 min.

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