Devastated by a hostage situation which resulted in the deaths of a young mother and her child, LAPD negotiator Jeff Talley (Bruce Willis) exits Los Angeles for a low-profile job as chief of police in the low-crime town of Bristo Camino in Ventura County.
When three delinquent teenagers follow a family home intending to steal their car, they inadvertently pick the wrong house on the wrong day. The trio find themselves trapped in a multi-million dollar compound on the outskirts of town owned by an accountant. Panicked, the teenagers take the family hostage, placing Talley in exactly the kind of situation he never wanted to face again. Soon after, Talley readily hands authority of the hostage situation over to the Ventura County Sheriffs Department and leaves the scene. After it becomes clear that the Sheriff Department cannot handle the crisis, Talley is forced to resume the command he had abandoned where the stakes quickly evolve into a hostage situation far more volatile and terrifying than anything he could ever imagine. Based on the novel by Robert Crais.
I knew I was going to be held hostage when the first sentence contained 3 f-words and 1 h_ll. It was down hill from there too. This was a typical Bruce Willis, “Die Hard” type film with his character, Sheriff Talley, having a marriage that was on the rocks. Then the bad guys take his wife and daughter and Talley has to rescue them. Along the way he fights anyone that gets in his way.
Willis has been in a couple of Dove Approved films like The Kid (2000) and Brunno the Kid (1996), but most of the films he is in contain graphic language and violence. Hostage is no exception, but I feel the negative elements are contained more than usual.
I for one would like to see Willis make more family-friendly films because I do like him as an actor. This is one film to avoid, though. It is not Willis’s best work.