Genre: Action Crime Drama Thriller (USA, Germany)
Directed By: Florent Emilio Siri
Overview: A once acclaimed hostage negotiator turned small town police chief must do what he can to save his own family.
Acting: The acting was actually good. I read a review that says the acting is poor, but I think the few cheesy scenes are more the director's fault than any actor's. Ben Foster has a great way of looking tortured, and he made the movie for me.
Cinematography: The budget's good, so the explosions and fire are top-drawer, but there are maybe a few too many slow-mo dramatic drawn out moments, thought not so many that it wrecks the film by any means. The gore effects are quite graphic and don't pull any punches, adding a healthy element of fright and pain.
Script: The script was well written! Yes, some moments were below par, but this movie is based on a novel, so it isn't all cheese and corny lines.
Plot: The plot is very decent, it's based on a novel, so it can't be all that bad, though things seem to fall into place a little too perfectly. The premise is better than the final predictable conclusion, but the trip is actually quite entertaining, and the character Mars has a way of being an almost ever constant Deus Ex Machina, changing obvious scenes in his actions. He's a nice plot twist all in one character.
Mood: The typical Hollywood tale of hope through adversity is predictable and because of this you won't really see this movie as anything special. The twist of making the Chief get more involved by having his family be put at risk alleviates this a little, especially since his family's kidnappers aren't constantly tying his hands and telling him what to do. This is action though, and the action has it's gripping moments, certainly.
Overall Rating: 66% (Matinée Material)