Part thriller, part action, part horror, and a dash of drama make this a genre of its own: Bruce Willis. In his latest, hostage negotiator Jeff Talley (Willis) must save a family from a group of teen psychos to save his own family from death by adult psychos. My first thought about 20 minutes into the film was, "damn, this is violent!" Although it probably isn't that bad, I'm just getting older I think. The violent aspect, though, does not tone down by the end. It continues throughout the whole thing. After I desensitized myself to the violence, the movie took off.

     The first scene is a flashback to 2 years ago when Talley was a top-notch negotitator for the feds. It is a suspense driven scene with a negotiation for a woman and child's life. Unfortunately the rest of the movie is less suspenseful and poorly written with vagueness. It could never hold up to the expectations after that first scene. Allusions to things that never come to light, and the sub-plot as to why this is all happening isn't sufficiently explained. The hostages are annoying kids and the culprits are stupid in-fighting teens without a plan or a motive. Fortunately for me, the action and desire to find out who dies next (as there is an absurdly high body count in this movie) kept me from wriggling too much in my seat. Dismissing the ineptness of the screenwriter and the casting director, you can enjoy this film as long as you can't hear the screaming of Roger Ebert behind the screen.

     Don't spend the $9 on this one.  Definitely wait for the rental.  It will be a great DVD to pick up some friday night in September.  Lots of action and cliche suspense may keep you riveted to your seat; but if it's dialogue and character development you're looking for, turn a blind eye to Hostage.