12 March 2005 | brokenimage227
a solid suspense movie with some extra darkness
this is definitely a film that you have to come into with a knowledge that it does pander to a mainstream audience, but not as much as you may think. it does take chances with sensitive subjects that most movies of its ilk usually avoid, resulting in an action flick that's a little more twisted, morbid, but also involving. it's not Seven, but there are similar disturbing touches.
i don't like writing full blown synopses because of my personal dislike of having too much information before i see the film. i like an honest opinion of whether someone loved or hated a movie, but when plot points start being handed off without warning, it irritates me. so here's the stuff:
the direction is more than competent (though nothing special). the writing, while allowing some rather cheap conveniences along the way, still delivers enough material for an exciting ride. the acting is above average, while it's not exactly the bruce willis comeback i was hoping for, this film doesn't insult his abilities either. he is able to showcase most of his dependable acting range in this, most of the time convincingly, though there is the occasional weak point. there are intentional cookie cutter characters who's sole function is to get the story past a certain point with no development, but that didn't bother me. the main characters accomplished their roles in carrying the story. especially ben foster.
after seeing this guy in last year's punisher, i was expecting a little more of the same in the dryly comedic, sidekick potential that shea lebouf turned out as. didn't exactly get that here. in Hostage, he's one of the most convincing psychotics i've seen in film in a long time. he is the devil in this movie, and it's a harrowing thing to watch. he earned his keep and then some.
the bottom line is that i enjoyed this movie. while it doesn't live up to it's full potential, it serves well as an engaging ride at the movies. that is, if you have a tolerance for a few sick twists along the way