This movie was incredible! I mean when I first heard about it, I could already see where it was going (ala 24 season three where Tony Almeida’s wife Michelle is kidnapped and used against him), but to actually see it…woof! And it’s based on a book! Hm…might be worth looking at (of course it wouldn’t really change my opinion of this film).
I thought Ben Foster, who normally plays these kinds of fruity teenagers, was a bona fide psycho here! I mean he was a full on monster (especially at the end!) and its incredible acting. It’s just an amazing tribute to his ability being able to do this kind of character (the kind that watches someone die because he’s psychologically imbalanced). Not to say he was the only great character…just the most indelible. Bruce Willis was great as an ex-hostage negotiator dealing with his personal demons based on a hostage situation gone bad that he never forgave himself for. Beyond that you get stellar performances from people I couldn’t name…and of course the unlisted bad guys of the film are pure evil (more so than Ben Foster because they’re psychologically stable).
The story, detailing a hostage situation that just escalates from bad to worse (without ending of course) so quickly and to such a degree that you just can’t imagine what else could go wrong (and then it does) was amazing. However, I can’t get over the ending (although the second time through one theory popped up that seemed to make sense…of course they don’t give us a clear-cut ending which is part of the whole problem). I won’t spill my theory online just because it’s against my nature to ruin films for people…so email me if you want to know. And who knows? Maybe with the DVD release it will either be cleared up or I’ll just spill the beans. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the film.
Another highlight for me was the continuous shot effect. The camera would be on a street corner and would follow one car past while the car behind it made a left turn, follow it down the road and then focus on the car driving by it towards the corner. It was really slick and I liked it a lot.
All-in-all an amazing psychological thriller with plenty of good things going for it.