The first thing that strikes you about this movie is the amazing title sequence, I don’t think I’ve seen such an exciting and eye-catching sequence since Bullitt, and that won an award for it’s titles. They are exceptional, freeze frame moments from the action that will soon open up before you, little parts of the larger situation, all with their own angle on the situation and with the cameras own angle on them. Excellent.
Bruce Willis is most definitely back on form here, it’s a much more mature and restrained Die Hard, think of that role mixed with Unbreakable and you really do have his acting style here. He gives a good performance throughout, but his best moments are when his family are being threatened and he shows you just how much he really can act. The scene in his car with the van behind is fantastic, and really makes you feel for the character.
Kevin Pollak also stars, giving an all too brief but great performance. These two actors work well together, and the closing scenes are something to hang on for. I’ve heard talk that this is where the movie is let down, but I can’t really agree with that. This is where the movie ramps down the action but brings the story to the head, they seem to forget the main characters motivation until then.
The younger actors stand up superbly well to the main cast, and have no problem holding their own. In particular the kids who lead the hostage taking are superb, confused, unsure, but pushed forward by the totally psychopathic Ben Foster, a wonderful performance there.
There is little in the way of traditional Willis action sequences, albeit for the one main hostage ending sequence, but this does little to dull the movie, in fact it strengthens it. Throughout the tension is high, and the fact that you are the only one sharing the secret that Talley is carrying which is his justification builds on the tension and excitement.
An excellent return to form for Willis, and a really good all round thriller. Filled with good actors and emotionally packed characters, it makes for an excellent movie. Willis isn’t too old for this kid of movie, he’s just not been getting good enough roles.