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HOSTAGE

Bruce Willis gets back to his Die Hard roots in this hard-boiled thriller about a cop trying to rescue an impounded family while his own kindred are likewise being held somewhere sight unseen. Like John McClane, Jeff Talley is the X-factor in a maelstrom of machinations where his resourcefulness and his resolve serve him better than his brawn or his Glock. The standoff begins ordinarily enough when a trio of joyriding punks (led by Bostonís own Jonathan Tucker) seize the palatial hillside estate of an executive (Kevin Pollak) and Talley, once a negotiator with the LAPD, now the chief of police in a small Ventura County enclave, is the Johnny-on-the-spot. From there, the wild cards fall. One of the home invaders is a trigger-happy sociopath (Ben Foster, also from Boston and looking like Trent Reznorís mini-me), the executive moonlights as a bookie for an organized crime syndicate with a vested interest in the situationís outcome, and the manse holds more lock-up and lock-out surprises than Panic Room. French director Florent Emilio Siri, who cut his teeth on video games and has an obvious penchant for pulp noir, keeps the adrenaline flowing even when the plot snags and Willis is blistering as the torn soul dancing on hot embers while trying to hold the universe together. (113 minutes)

BY TOM MEEK

Issue Date: March 18 - 24, 2005
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