Directed by Florent Siri, starring Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Ben Foster, Jonathan Tucker, Marshall Allman, Michelle Horn, Jimmy Bennett, Serena Scott Thomas and Rumer Willis.

Florent Siri's first English-language feature has enough action and suspense to keep you entertained, despite falling short of expectations by the end.

Bruce Willis plays Jeff Talley, the chief negotiator in LA's police force, that is until a bad decision causes the deaths of a woman and her young son. Riddled with guilt, Talley takes a job as chief of police in a small California community where nothing much happens. His wife Jane (Serena Scott Thomas, sister of Kristin) and daughter Amanda (Willis' own daughter Rumer) are as unhappy at the turn of events as Talley himself.

Walter Smith (Pollak) and his children Jennifer (Horn) and Tommy (Bennett) are driving home to their luxury mansion, but they have no idea they're being followed by local troublemakers Dennis, Mars and Dennis' brother Kevin (Tucker, Foster and Allman). They intend to steal the Smiths' car, but things take a drastic turn and Talley soon has a hostage situation on his hands. Luckily for him, he is no longer a negotiator, so he happily turns over the case to the county sheriff. But then his own family are taken hostage and in order to save them, Talley must retrieve something from Smith's home and hand it over to a shadowy organisation, which means he must negotiate for the hostages' release.

Bruce Willis does what he does best here, with his initially cocky Talley becoming believably insecure and tense as the film progresses. Talley is a little mellowed out from Willis' 'Die Hard' character and much less of a wise guy. Kevin Pollak too does well as the loving father who is not all he seems and Ben Foster is perfectly unsettling as the psychotic Mars.

After a slow start, 'Hostage' gets into its stride when Talley's wife and daughter are taken captive. Suddenly the action revs up a notch and you become more involved in the story, wanting to know who the shadowy figures holding Talley to ransom are. It sets itself up for a great conclusion at this point but ultimately it disappoints, as the resolution is rather weak.

Based on Robert Crais' novel and with reminders of TV's '24', you won't see anything new in 'Hostage', but it's reasonably entertaining nonetheless.

Katie Moten