POINTS: Good writing, good acting, lots of action, some twists and turns I did not see coming with a good ending. 🙂 I would watch this again. Plus you get to see Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, and many other talented actors at an earlier point in their careers. Everyone did an outstanding job.
PITFALLS: Well there is one I will discuss in Cultural Pitfalls below. One that I will mention here is the “trope” of the confession that is broadcast for all to hear without the villain knowing. I’ve often doubted if this would work in real life. However it does work in this movie mostly because of the acting by everyone in the cast.
FEMALE CHARACTERS: There was no one prominent female character in this movie but several supporting role ones that were very supporting. One female character played by Siobhan Fallon, named Maggie. Maggie gets a bit of a character arc as she is against and then sympathizes with the hero. But ultimately she, like other women in stories, has a set back against the hero in the end. I found that really boring and annoying. How come it had to be the woman? Good grief. She did have a few GREAT lines though and I was glad she was there. Regina Taylor did a great job as the hero’s wife. I liked that she stuck up for her husband and didn’t let anyone push her around.
CULTURAL PITFALLS: Really? Ok, so Kevin Spacey’s character is Chris Sabian. We first meet Sabian in his apartment getting ready to take his wife and approximately 12 year old daughter on a ski trip. However wife has locked herself in the bathroom because of what daughter said about her. We don’t know what that is until she comes out, after Sabian’s persuasion (or so the scene would have you believe). Then we find out that the daughter called her fat in her ski suit. The wife then locks herself in the bathroom again when daughter smirks at her. Sabian, then grinning with his daughter, says that no the daughter didn’t call the mother fat and the two continue giggle as they inform the wife and audience that the word was wide. Ok, really? What was that crap about? So you are telling me that this man is inept at marrying someone who is an adult. Because clearly an adult doesn’t throw a fit when her daughter calls her fat or wide. Second, an adult might question daughter as to the intent of her words. Third: Good grief, if my husband and daughter made fun of me for being fat I would divorce the husband and consider letting him get custody. This is a poor family structure and does not make one think positively upon Sabian as a hostage negotiator. If that is what the scene was trying to tell us, it succeeded. But it did so at the expense of a family dynamic. Not impressed with that at all.
HIGH POINT(S): Acting from talented cast!
BECHDEL TEST (Website): 1 of 3 and I agree. It would have been nice to see more women in the cast and crowd.