Friday, March 11, 2005

Movie Review: Hostage

Hostage is essentially two movies in one. The first is a great movie, definitely worth the $9.95 to get in. The second is a product of a rookie director trying too hard on his first big budget production.

On the one hand, the acting is outstanding, as is the overall story. Willis plays the role of a cop struggling with a past failure perfectly and 7 year old Jimmy Bennett does a terrific job as both a young boy afraid for himself and his family as well as pint sized hero. While similar stories have been done in the past, this one has a very tight screenplay that leaves little out. You have action, violence, drama and even horror (to a small degree), all rolled into 113 minutes with very few breaks.

But even with all this going for it, a movie is only as good as it's director and that is where I believe the problems with Hostage are the most apparent. Up to this point, Florent Emilio Siri had spent most of his time in the domain of video games, and it shows. While each scene in the movie seems well shot and acted, it is all the little things, like the needless use of slow-mo and the background music, which seem to prevent you from becoming totally immersed in this world. Even the style of the opening credits (which were well done from a technical standpoint) seem to be a much better fit to Willis's next movie 'Sin City' than to this one and the music throughout the movie kept me wondering when the 'Caped Crusader' would swing in and save the day. Add to that, scenes that would feel more at home in movies such as "The Grudge" or "The Crow". It just did not fit with the overall tone of the movie and, in my opinion, kept putting up walls that I just grew tired of climbing over.

When it comes to scoring this movie, the only fair thing is to score each component seperately.
  • 4.0 - Acting
  • 4.0 - Story
  • 0.5 - Music
  • 1.5 - Overall 'Feel'
Overall score: 2.5 out of 5


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