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''Hostage'' is a 2005 thriller film directed by Florent Emilio Siri and starring Creator/BruceWillis. It is [[FilmOfTheBook based on the novel of the same name]] by Robert Crais, to which it is relatively faithful.

The film opens with ex-SWAT officer turned Los Angeles hostage negotiator Jeff Talley (Willis) attempting to defuse a situation where a man is holding his wife and son hostage due to the wife cheating on him. Alas, he doesn't act quick enough, and the man shoots the two before shooting himself. The son dies in Jeff's arms. This leaves Jeff unable to endure hostage situations anymore, so he moves with his wife and daughter to the (fictional) peaceful suburban hamlet of Bristo Camino in Ventura County and becomes a police chief.

One year later, by which time Jeff's marriage is disintegrating, two teenagers, Dennis and his brother Kevin, as well as their mysterious accomplice Marshall "Mars" Krupcheck, take the wealthy Walter Smith and his two children hostage in their mansion after a failed robbery attempt. Jeff participates in the subsequent police standoff initially, but eventually backs out due to his painful memories. Unfortunately, it turns out that Walter 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 [[IHaveYourWife kidnap Talley's wife and daughter, and force him to return to the scene to call the police off]]. Jeff is thus torn between the Smith family and his own... what's a cop to do?

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AntiHero: Jeff takes some seedy measures--even though what he does in the name of saving his family from the mob threatening them, he has the [[spoiler:unconscious Walter woken up by dangerous injections to get the location of an encrypted disk and gets his son, Tommy, to retrieve the disk in a manner that exposes him to danger]].
* AntiVillain:
** Dennis might be a greedy prick out to rob the Smith family but he really doesn't want to hurt anyone and loves his younger brother Kevin.
** Kevin himself is only a villain by association. He's dragged into the kidnapping, never hurts anyone, often vocally disagreeing with Mars and Dennis' actions and eventually [[spoiler:tries to save the kids and leave when he's had enough]].
* BeardOfSorrow: Inverted; Tally went for a clean-shaven, bald look ''after'' his HeroicBSOD.
* BigBadEnsemble: Jeff is antagonized by the group who take over the Smith's mansion (of whom Mars is by far the most dangerous) and the mafia leaders who threaten his family in a bid to recover an encrypted disk. Although the two groups are wholly separate, both are massive threats to Jeff.
* BigBadWannabe: Dennis constantly tells himself and Jeff that he's "the one in charge" of the robbery although it's clear he's in way over his head while Mars is the real threat among the trio.
* BittersweetEnding: Although [[spoiler:the Smiths all live and Jeff saves his family, while defeating the mafia, Dennis and Kevin are killed by Mars, despite Jeff's attempts to save them from him]].
* ChainedToABed: Jennifer Smith (Michelle Horn) is tied to a bed by psycho serial killer mercenary Mars (Creator/BenFoster). She's rescued in the nick of time by her kid brother before Mars can do anything rapey. [[spoiler:In somewhat of a fulfillment of the trope's page quote, Mars is later killed during a confrontation with Creator/BruceWillis (although not shot in the face).]]
* DiscOneFinalBoss: Mars is clearly TheHeavy to the movie, despite the mafia being a separate threat he's at the forefront antagonizing the Smith family and Jeff but [[spoiler:dies in a climactic shoot out with the mafia's men and the last bit of the movie is spent by Jeff and Walter confronting the mafia directly]].
* DieHardOnAnX: ''Film/DieHard'' in... well, a house. The director called it "''an art house version of the Die Hard films.''"
* TheDragon: The mysterious Watchman doubles as the MouthOfSauron for the mafia higher ups and his [[spoiler:death represents their loss of power over Jeff]].
* DragonInChief: Mars goes along with Dennis and Kevin and lets Dennis believe he's in charge but his skills with firearms and ability to remain calm, unlike the panicked Dennis, show he's the real danger in the group.
* EvilerThanThou: It's made clear the second Mars starts shooting at the cops he's on a completely different tier than the small-time crook brothers he's with. Jeff recognizes this after Mars kills one of his officers and constantly tries to save the brothers and convince them to remove themselves from him.
* EvilVersusEvil: At the film's climax, [[spoiler:Mars kills several of the syndicate operatives before succumbing to the injuries they inflicted upon him.]]
* ExperiencedProtagonist: Jeff has already spent years with SWAT and as a hostage negotiator and comes in with the grizzled experience needed to save the Smith family.
* FauxAffablyEvil: At first Mars tries to act as a gentleman kidnapper to Jennifer but he's such a possessive creep that even his compliments and false sincerity don't come anywhere near sounding legit.
%%* FilmNoir
%%* FilmOfTheBook
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Mars, who smokes cigarettes and marijuana joints, is the only character in the film seen smoking, actually works it into his intimidation of other characters. At one point when he has the kids tied up, he seemingly absent-mindedly offers them a toke while they're clearly scared and stressed and at another point puffs smoke into Jenny's face.
* GreaterScopeVillain: Whoever is buying the encrypted disk from the mob is so powerful and threatening that the higher ups fear for their lives if they can't deliver it. Despite this, the individual or group is never seen on screen, only a vague reference to their existance ever given.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: Mars with Jennifer. So very, very creepily. Especially when he has her [[ChainedToABed tied to her bed]].
* IHaveYourWife: Bad guy kidnaps Bruce Willis' family to force Bruce to get a DVD that incriminates him from a hostage situation going on elsewhere. After resolving the hostage situation and getting the DVD, he manages to kill the bad guy and save his family.
* TheHeavy: While both [[BigBadEnsemble the home invaders and the mafia pose separate but substantial threats]], Mars, the most dangerous and insane of the home invaders, is the villain most at odds with protagonist Jeff. It's his threatening of the family in the house and constant actions that give Jeff and his police squad the greatest direct challenge.
* ImplacableMan: Mars when he chases [[spoiler:Jennifer and Tommy through the vents]]. Even after being stabbed in the mouth, he chases them and continues his pursuit even after [[spoiler:being shot with a machine gun, finally bleeding out as he tries to kill Jeff and the kids]].
* HostageSituation: Naturally, this is the central plot of the movie. Bruce Willis plays a former hostage negotiator who quit after a hostage crisis gone wrong, but then the house of a family man with connections to a shadowy syndicate is invaded by three armed robbers who have to take hostages after a shoot-out with a patrolman. His own wife and daughter are kidnapped by the syndicate to ensure that he gets a specific package they need out of the house.
* ImportantHaircut: Our hero played by Bruce Willis starts out as a stressed out big city hostage negotiator with a full, bushy beard and long, unkempt hair. In the second scene he is now a small town police chief who is a stickler about the dress and deportment of his officers; he is clean shave, head and face, having left the insanity of his former job behind.
* KarmaHoudini: The mafia higher ups are never confronted or punished by Jeff or any of the other characters, however, they were fearful of losing the encrypted disk, with the implication of threats on their lives which [[spoiler:Jeff and Walter take]].
* KillItWithFire: Much of the penultimate battle involves Molotov Cocktails, one of which ultimately kills Mars.
* LackOfEmpathy: Mars' be-all-and-end-all, he enjoys fatally shooting people to watch them die and stares at them with the same dull expression one would have cooking a favourite meal.
* MolotovCocktail: Mars uses numerous of these to take down the mansion with him.
* MutilationConga: Mars gets stabbed in the mouth by Jennifer before [[spoiler:she and her brother escape, gets repeatedly kicked in the wound, opening it wider, is shot with an automatic rifle through the chest, finally appearing more of a blood-soaked demon than a man and eventually giving into his wounds, dropping his own molotov on himself and burning]].
* NonActionBigBad: The mafia higher ups seen communicating with one-another on the phone never directly confront Jeff, instead relying on the Watchman to communicate and after [[spoiler:the death of the Watchman, their fates are unknown]].
* NotGoodWithRejection: Mars responds to Jennifer saying she doesn't want to be with him by choking her and telling her she has no choice.
* ProtectThisHouse: Inverted. As the movie title would suggest, the kids want the cops to get into the house to reclaim it. A good portion of the movie deals with the cops efforts to save the children in the house.
* RetiredBadass: Jeff now works as a small town police chief after a decade with SWAT and years more as a high profile hostage negotiator. Although he acts humble in the face of superiors at first, when shit goes south he shows everyone that he's the only one analytical and tactical enough to stop the criminals from ending the night in tragedy.
* {{Sadist}}: Mars' preferred method of killing is by mortally wounding people with a gunshot and then watching them as they pass.
* SiblingsInCrime: Kevin, who just wanted to hang out with his big bro, gets dragged into Dennis' scheme to rob the Smith's and is made an unwilling participant in the act.
* SilentAntagonist: After [[spoiler:Jennifer stabs Mars in the mouth, he stops talking entirely, chasing them through the vents almost like a horror movie villain]] and becoming all the more terrifying for it.
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: [[invoked]] The DVD is hidden in a case for the 1943 Ernst Lubitsch film ''Heaven Can Wait'', but Walter also owns a copy of the 1978 film of the same name. [[spoiler:Oddly enough, this doesn't actually cause any problems, as Walter's son just grabs both when Talley tells him the name.]]
* TheSociopath: Mars is a quiet individual whose only ever seen smiling when threatening people. Unlike the two brothers, Mars also cares nothing for the money to be gained from the robbery and instead makes it his aim to kill as many people as he can. In his interactions with the family daughter Jennifer, Mars also displays possessive behaviour, saying she's "[His] girl" and assaulting her when she rebukes him.
* TheStarscream: Mars gets sick of the brothers when Kevin says he's taking the kids and leaving, [[spoiler:killing both of them to continue his own murder spree]].
* TheStoic: Mars is a calm, collected individual and even though he's a dangerous psychopath, stays expressionless as he murders.
* TeamKiller: When Kevin gets sick of Mars' violent cruelty, he tells him he's taking the kids and leaving, in response, Mars not only [[spoiler:kills him for his betrayal but then shoots his older brother Dennis dead, despite Dennis thinking Kevin had been shot by the cops]].
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