Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Florent Emilio Siri|
|Written by||Doug Richardson|
by Robert Crais
|Music by||Alexandre Desplat|
|Cinematography||Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci|
|Edited by||Richard Byard
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Box office||$77.9 million|
Hostage is a 2005 American action thriller drama film produced by and starring Bruce Willis and directed by Florent Emilio Siri. The film was based on a novel by Robert Crais, and was adapted for the screen by Doug Richardson.
The film earned mixed to negative reviews and was not a financial success on its original release, earning only slightly more than its production costs.
Former SWAT officer Jeff Talley is a hostage negotiator in Los Angeles. Talley is negotiating with a man who has taken his wife and son hostage after learning she has been cheating on him. Talley denies a SWAT commander's request to give snipers the green light to take out the suspect. There are three gunshots in the house. Talley runs through the barricaded door and finds the man and his wife dead. In the boy's room he finds the son, who passes away in Talley's arms. This leaves Talley emotionally scarred. He moves with his family to become police chief in Bristo Camino, a peaceful suburban hamlet in Ventura County, California.
A year after the incident, Talley finds himself in another hostage situation. Two teenagers, Dennis and his brother Kevin, and their mysterious accomplice Marshall "Mars" Krupcheck take hostage Walter Smith and his two children, a teenager Jennifer and a young child Tommy, in Smith's house after a failed robbery attempt. The first officer to respond, Carol Flores, is brutally shot twice by Mars just before Talley and a fellow officer arrive. Talley attempts to rescue the seriously injured officer, who dies in front of him. Traumatized and unwilling to put himself through yet another life-or-death situation, Talley hands authority over to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and leaves.
Smith has been laundering money for a mysterious criminal syndicate through offshore shell corporations. He was preparing to turn over a batch of important encrypted files (recorded on a DVD) when he was taken hostage. To protect such incriminating evidence from discovery, the syndicate orders someone known only as the Watchman to kidnap Talley's wife and daughter. Talley is told to return to the hostage scene, regain authority, and stall for time until the organization can launch its own attack against Smith's house.
Dennis has his partners Mars and Kevin tie up the kids. Dennis pistol-whips Walter, knocking him out, then finds a large amount of cash. In an attempt to end the standoff (and secure the DVDs himself), Talley meets with Dennis and agrees to provide a helicopter in exchange for half the money. When the helicopter arrives, Dennis and Kevin bring the money to Talley in the courtyard and prepare to leave, but Mars refuses to leave without Jennifer. Talley tries to get the boys to leave Jennifer and walk away, but he says that the helicopter will only carry three additional people, and insists that Jennifer stay behind. The deal breaks down as the boys return to the house. Talley tells the chopper to stand down and he exits the courtyard.
Kevin is upset that his older brother picked Mars over him and confronts Dennis, demanding he make a decision: it's either him or Mars. Dennis picks the money and Kevin is even more upset so he grabs the bags full of money and empties them onto the floor, so Dennis punches him. Thomas escapes, grabs his father's gun and talks to Talley on Jennifer's cell phone.
Talley learns that Mars is a killer, who could turn on the hostages and his own accomplices at any moment. Mars does, in fact, kill Kevin, just when Kevin is about to release the kids to the police. Dennis comes to Kevin's side and assumes the cops killed him. Mars then shoots Dennis. The brothers die in each other's arms.
The syndicate sends fake FBI agents to recover the DVD and they storm the house. Talley is told not to go near the house or else his family would be killed. Mars is stabbed in the cheek by Jennifer. She and her brother flee. They lock themselves in the house's panic room. Talley hears the children screaming as they flee. Talley drives his patrol car into the house, breaking down the front door. Mars throws a Molotov cocktail at Talley, destroying his patrol car. Mars begins to kill the majority of the fake FBI agents using his pistol and multiple Molotov cocktails, but is shot in the side by the only surviving agent. The agent tracks down Talley and the children, demanding to be given the encrypted DVD. Talley gives him the DVD. Mars reappears, distracting the agent long enough to be killed by Talley.
Mars prepares to throw his last bomb to kill everyone in the room. He collapses to his knees, weakened by his wounds and blood loss. He makes eye contact with Jennifer, with whom he was apparently infatuated, then drops his bomb, becoming a human torch, and vanishing in a pillar of flame which engulfs the room.
Talley escapes with the kids by shooting the indoor glass waterfall which extinguishes the fire. He and Walter Smith then go to the rundown motel where Talley's wife and daughter are held hostage by the Watchman and his crew. Smith, feigning hatred for Talley, is 'freed' in exchange for the family. While demanding that the Watchman kill Talley, Smith shoots the Watchman. This allows Talley to kill the other masked gunmen and rescue his family.
- Bruce Willis as Police Chief Jeff Talley
- Kevin Pollak as Walter Smith
- Jimmy Bennett as Tommy Smith
- Michelle Horn as Jennifer Smith
- Ben Foster as Marshall "Mars" Krupcheck
- Jonathan Tucker as Dennis Kelly
- Marshall Allman as Kevin Kelly
- Serena Scott Thomas as Jane Talley
- Rumer Willis as Amanda Talley
- Kim Coates as The Watchman
- Robert Knepper as Wil Bechler
- Tina Lifford as Deputy Sheriff Laura Shoemaker
- Ransford Doherty as Officer Mike Anders
- Marjean Holden as Officer Carol Flores
- Michael D. Roberts as Bob Ridley
- Art LaFleur as Bill Jorgenson
- Keith Hines as Simmons
- Randy McPherson as Kovak
- Hector Luis Bustamante as Officer Ruiz
- Kathryn Joosten as Louise
- Johnny Messner as Mr. Jones
- Glenn Morshower as Lt. Leifitz
- Jamie McShane as Joe Mack
- Jimmy Pinchak as Sean Mack
- Chad Smith as Bobby Knox
The film's plot is roughly the same as Crais's novel. The main difference is that the novel's complicated subplot involving powerful West Coast Mafia crime lord Sonny Benza was removed, with the film giving little explanation of Walter Smith's criminal associates. The film also makes the first group of hostage-takers somewhat younger in age than depicted in the novel.
Filming took place in the Malibu area (in western Los Angeles County). The exterior views of Smith's lavishly appointed house were filmed at a real house in the unincorporated Topanga Canyon area, between Malibu and Los Angeles; the interior scenes were done on sound stages in Hollywood.
The character Mars, played by Ben Foster, was modeled after Bay Area rap artist Mars by Robert Crais after a friend Dennis Bsharah urged him to look into the horrorcore genre. In the movie adaptation, Foster strongly resembles the rapper. Jonathan Tucker's name was later changed to Dennis.
Critical response 
|This section requires expansion. (May 2010)|
The film earned $34,639,939 at the box office in the United States and a total international gross of $77,944,725.
Home media 
Hostage was released on DVD June 21, 2005.
- "Movie Hostage". The Numbers. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Hostage". Box Office Mojo. 2005.
- "Hostage-Film Locations". Seeing Stars.com/Locations. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Ben Foster - HOSTAGE Interview". Tribute.ca. Tribute Entertainment Media Group. March 2005. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Maslin, Janet (20 August 2001). "Not-Half-Bad Punks And a World-Weary Cop". BOOK OF THE TIMES (The New York Times). Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Hostage (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- Ebert, Roger (2005-03-11). Hostage.
- "Hostage". Amazon.com.