A tormented and burned-out former LAPD hostage negotiator named Jeff Talley (Bruce Willis) takes a job in a sleepy Ventura County police department and ends up having one really bad day in Hostage. Three punks decide to rob a rich family, and, when it all goes wrong, they end up trapped inside. It has the elements of a good actioner, yet it's dull, convoluted, and ultimately just kind of boring.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is fair, with the usual pumped-up explosions, breaking glass, and fireballs. The 2.35:1 anamorphic picture luckily stays away from nighttime murkiness, and the look is the best part of the disc. But it's not enough to save it. Extras are no great shakes, with the standard commentary track (sans Willis), deleted and extended scenes, and behind-the-scenes features that are all decidedly average.
Kevin Pollak has a thankless role as Walter Smith, the robbery victim with a secret. But that secret, which involves other bad guys, offshore accounts, and bags of money, is not especially compelling. Ben Foster (Six Feet Under) is the only one of the teen robbers who comes close to embodying a real dysfunctional creep. It is the juiciest role and the easiest to dig into. Willis has done all of this before, and why he does it again in such a snoozer is anyone's guess. But, hey, it's still Bruce Willis in an action film, and I guess that counts for something.