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Promotional poster for Hostage
Directed by Florent Emilio Siri
Produced by Mark Gordon
Arnold Rifkin
Bruce Willis
Bob Yari
David Wally
Written by Novel:
Robert Crais
Doug Richardson
Starring Bruce Willis
Kevin Pollak
Ben Foster
Jonathan Tucker
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci
Editing by Richard Byard
Olivier Gajan
Distributed by Miramax
Release date(s) March 11, 2005
Running time 113 min.
Language English
Budget $52 million (estimated)

Hostage is a 2005 action/thriller movie which was 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 movie's plot is roughly the same as the novel; the main difference is that a complicated subplot involving the Mafia was removed and the ages of the first group of hostage-takers was lowered slightly. In the novel, Smith's employer is Sonny Benza, a crime overlord whose influence reaches throughout the entire West Coast.



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 soundstages in Hollywood.

The movie's opening scenes were filmed in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, just east of downtown.

Bristo Camino, the main setting of the film, is a fictional town in Ventura County, California, where Willis is the police chief. As the drama unfolds in the movie, it is revealed that Bristo Camino has a very small police department so Willis requests the assistance of Ventura County Sheriff's Department in order to handle the situation[1]. Vehicles of the fictional Bristo Camino police department and paramedic fire and rescue service are featured heavily in the film. The logo for the Bristo Camino police department features a Black Bear in a mountain setting, and has since seen use in clothing items and memorabilia[2]. Bristo Camino also appears to have influenced the name of an unsigned indie band in Leeds, England[3]. Although being fictional, Bristo Camino was possibly intended to be a representation of Ojai or Moorpark. Bristo Bay is the name of Bristo Camino in the original 2001 Robert Crais novel.


Former SWAT officer Jeff Talley is a hostage negotiator in Los Angeles. The film begins with Jeff negotiating with a man who has taken his wife and son hostage after learning she has been cheating on him. Jeff Talley has been watching the situation for a while, and denied the SWAT commander's request to give the SWAT snipers the green light to take out the suspect. Eventually, Jeff hears three gunshots in the house. He runs inside through the barricaded door and finds the man and his wife dead. In the boy's room he finds the dying son, who passes away in Jeff's arms. This leaves Talley emotionally scarred. Soon after, Jeff moves with his family to become police chief in Bristo Camino, a (fictional) peaceful suburban hamlet in Ventura County, California.

One year after the incident that ended his career with the LAPD, Talley finds himself in yet 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 and a young child, in Smith's house after a failed robbery attempt. The first officer to respond to the robbery, Carol Flores, is brutally shot twice by Mars right before Talley and a fellow officer arrive at the scene. As Talley attempts to rescue the seriously injured officer with his police SUV, the officer dies in front of him. Traumatized by the officer's death 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 the scene.

Unfortunately for Talley, 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 one of their representatives who is known only as the Watchman to kidnap Talley's wife and daughter, and forces him to return to the scene and stall for time until the organization can launch their own attack against Smith's house.

Back at the scene, Dennis asks for a helicopter, but Talley denies it. Dennis has Mars and Kevin tie up the kids. Dennis pistol whips Walter in the head and he's knocked out. Dennis finds a large amount of cash and is willing to offer Talley half the cash to help Dennis and Kevin (but not Mars) escape. The police bring a helicopter. Dennis and Kevin are ready to go, but the chopper is for 3 people and Mars won't leave without Jennifer. The plan failed. Kevin has Dennis choose between him or Mars to leave. Dennis chooses the money. Kevin furiously throws the money in the fireplace. Dennis punches Kevin and is about to hit him with his belt, but stops himself and walks away from Kevin. Thomas escapes and grabs his father's gun and talks to Talley on Jennifer's cell phone. Dennis later apologies to Kevin, but Kevin is still angry.

Talley learns that Mars is a serial killer, who could turn on the hostages and his own accomplices at any moment. Eventually, Mars does, in fact, kill Kevin, when Kevin is about to release the kids and take them with him to the police. Mars let's Kevin walk by, but as soon as Kevin turns around, Mars pushes Kevin off the stairwell and smashes his head on the floor. Dennis comes to Kevin's aid and thinks the cops killed him and asks Mars to do something and immediately Mars shoots Dennis in the chest, killing him. The brothers die in each other arms. At this point, the syndicate sends a force of fake FBI agents in to recover the DVD, and they storm the house. Mars, during this time, is stabbed in the cheek by Jennifer, and she and her brother flee. Mars pursues them relentlessly, but is unable to catch them before they lock themselves in the reinforced security center of the house. Talley hears the children screaming as they flee from Mars via Jennifer's cell phone, and storms in after the fake FBI agents.

Mars, seeing Talley come into the house with his patrol car, throws a Molotov Cocktail at him, destroying his patrol car. Mars continues onwards to kill the majority of the fake FBI agents using his pistol and multiple Molotov Cocktails, but is shot by the only surviving agent in the side with a rifle. Regardless, he makes a reappearance, distracting the lone surviving fake agent long enough for the agent to be shot and killed by Talley, but not before the agent wounds Talley. Mars then lights the room that he, the hostages, and Talley are in with one of his two remaining Molotov Cocktails. As he prepares to throw the last bomb and kill everyone in the room, he collapses to his knees, weakened by the wounds in his torso and blood loss. He makes eye contact with Jennifer, who he was apparently infatuated with, then drops the Molotov Cocktail. Mars dies as he drops the bomb, lighting himself on fire and vanishing in a pillar of flame.

Talley then guides the hostages out, safely evacuating them. Talley and Walter Smith then go to the inn where Talley's wife and daughter are being held hostage by the Watchman and several other masked armed men. Talley frees Smith, hoping to save his family, and Smith, grateful for his own family being saved, shoots the Watchman in the head, allowing Talley to kill the other masked gunmen. Talley and his family then walk out with Smith, ending the movie.


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