Movie: Hostage

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Our Rating: 2.00

Just as America's overinflated fear of trenchcoat mafias was in danger of abating, here comes a lurid, exploitative actioner to re-establish that today's teens want to invade your home, tie your daughter to her bed, shoot investigating cops in the chest and hurl Molotov cocktails around the place like Nerf balls. (This is why I don't buy Halloween candy anymore: Once you open your front door to the little bastards, there's no telling what might happen.) All that carnage and more is perpetrated by an absurdly psychotic man-child (Six Feet Under's Ben Foster) and two easily led pals, who, responding to a perceived slight, make the fatal error of laying siege to the home of a mob accountant and his children. In the middle of the ensuing mayhem is veteran hostage negotiator Bruce Willis, who gets to mouth solemn promises of saving the trapped family while the lives of his own wife and kid (real-life daughter Rumer, who sadly and strongly resembles a Jay Leno Halloween mask) hang in the balance. Though the movie has its moments of suspense and pathos, it's also stacked with shots of bloodied youngsters, adolescent cleavage and other images that only a playground stalker would construe as titillation. Would a film that really believed in the honor of saving children's lives make them the patsies for so many adult prejudices and peccadilloes?

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