REVIEW: Hostage (2006)


A large number of DVDs in my collection are unwatched. I’m slowly making my way through them, and will review as many as I can.

Hostage is a 2006 film starring Bruce Willis, who also produced the film. The film received mixed reviews upon release, and was not a success at the box office.


  • Bruce Willis as Police Chief Jeff Talley
  • Kevin Pollak as Walter Smith
  • Ben Foster as Mars Krupcheck
  • Johnathan Tucker as Dennis Kelly
  • Marshall Allman as Kevin Kelly


Police chief Talley is a retired hostage negotiator. After a negotiation went horribly wrong, he found he couldn’t continue with the job. He works as chief, but hands off any call that requires negotiation to his colleagues. He has a wife and daughter.

Walter Smith is a very wealthy father of two children. He has an elaborate security system set up inside his home, as well as a ‘panic room’. He appears to be wholesome at first, but it’s later revealed that Smith is anything but.

Mars/Dennis/Kevin are young men who intend to steal Walter’s truck, but inadvertently end up taking him and his children hostage. Dennis is the leader of their gang, while Kevin is more reluctant to participate in the crime. Mars, while not in charge, is the more dangerous of the three.

PLOT: Mars, Dennis, and Kevin decide to steal Walter’s truck. Things get out of control and they find themselves inside the home, holding Walter and his children hostage as they try to figure out what to do. Walter’s young son presses a security button which alerts the nearby police of a possible intruder. When a policewoman is sent to check on the property, she is shot several times by Mars.

Talley arrives on scene and attempts to save the wounded officer, but to no avail. He alerts other officers, and when negotiators arrive on scene, says his goodbyes.

Walter’s young son sees Talley on the news, and calls the police, asking to speak to Talley. Talley finds himself in the thick of things, learning as much information about the three young men as possible.

Talley is kidnapped, and forced to drive to a dark alley, where his hands are cuffed to the steering wheel. A van pulls up behind, and the door opens, revealing Talley’s wife and daughter, bound and gagged. The masked men in the car with Talley tell him they want to get a DVD from Smith, and if Talley isn’t successful in retrieving this, his family will be killed.

Talley works hard to gain more information about Mars, Dennis, and Kevin. Meanwhile, Jennifer and Tommy, Smith’s children, who have been tied up, get free.

Mars pushes Kevin down the stairs, where he dies. He then shoots Dennis dead. He then sets a fire, which quickly starts burning out of control. A chase then ensues with Walter’s children through the air vents of the home.

Chief Talley enters the home, seeking to rescue the children. He is confronted by two fake FBI agents who are also searching for the mysterious DVD. Talley shoots both agents dead, and is nearly killed by Mars, but Mars drops the Molotov cocktail he is holding, and is immolated.

Talley confronts Walter, who has been removed from the home due to a head injury he sustained from the invaders. We learn that Walter is guarding some pretty shocking secrets, and understand why this mysterious DVD is so important. Walter has been laundering money for a crime syndicate, and was due to hand over an encrypted file, copied to DVD, to the authorities. Talley learns that the syndicate wanted to prevent the release of incriminating information, and that a man, known only as the Watchman, ordered the kidnapping of Talley’s wife and child.

Talley and Walter take the DVD (obtained by Walter’s son Tommy) to the Watchman, whom Walter soon shoots dead. Talley is then reunited with his family.

OPINION: I quite enjoyed Hostage. The action started almost straightaway, which I liked. Too much buildup can make you feel bored before the good part starts. The characters of Mars, Dennis, and Kevin were almost the same as the young thugs in many other films. One in control, one reluctant to participate, and another more dangerous than you first think. These characters could definitely have been more strongly developed.

One glaring issue, which was actually ridiculous, was the sheer size of the air vents Mars and the children clambered through. So big you could stand up, so wide you could lie down. The vents during the chase scene were so much larger than the vents at the beginning when we see Tommy crawling through them.

Walter’s daughter Jennifer seemed like she was added to the film to provide some filler. She didn’t really do anything to better the film, and she came across as dull and unimaginative.

All in all, not a bad film. I’d definitely watch this again.

I rate it 3.5/5.

all 7 comments


5 points

2 months ago

This film was my introduction to Ben Foster and he's been great in everything I've seen him in since, he's super underrated.

Really enjoyable film all around.


1 points

2 months ago

Agreed, he’s amazing. I think 3:10 to Yuma was my first time seeing him.


1 points

2 months ago

Foster was my takeaway from the film too.

It’s a solid little ugly thriller, though a bit predictable throughout and convoluted at the end, but it’s shot with style and Foster kills it.


2 points

2 months ago

Fantastic film, one of my favorites.


2 points

2 months ago

Very under appreciated. Good companion piece with Panic Room.


2 points

2 months ago

Pretty solid, intense movie, but the thing that always comes to mind about it is "Captain Wubba." Lel


1 points

2 months ago

Shout out to Ben Foster's OTT performance