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Held Hostage
IMDB Rating: 5.0/10 from 453 votes
Release: 19 July 2009 (USA) /

Held Hostage

Genre: Drama
Director: Grant Harvey,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Michelle a single mother is kidnapped by three masked men and held hostage until she is forced to rob a bank which is the only option she has to saving her only child's life while they are both wired to explode.

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Critic Reviews


Canadian films have a tendency, when they're of better ilk, to still have no real star-power in and of themselves, and of course, being a made for t.v. movie, more often, that is the best you can hope for. That being said, this is a fairly decent movie. It more or less accomplishes what it sets out to do, and it's message, quite well delivered in the ending with the juxtaposition of the victim, and the kidnapper, both having come from troubled backgrounds, yet both ending on opposite sides of the law as a result of inner strength, shines through rather poignantly.

All in all, the film carries with it a sense of realism and plausibility, though of course, there are ways that it could have been better. Personally I think the hostage taking scenes needed to be more brutal and traumatic since after all, the end of the film has a statement saying "The real life woman who this is based on is working to promote awareness for violence against women and children." WHAT violence... WHAT abuse... As someone who is not particularly sympathetic to the feminist bend of this film, which of course indirectly implies that violence against men is alright, as a viewer I don't feel THAT bad for the protagonist if all she's suffered was being yelled at for a few hours, and even being a made for t.v. movie shouldn't limit this.

One highly positive thing about the film is that it was so well cast. Brendan Penny, the lead kidnapper is a rather interesting character. I worked with him incidentally in a scene on the show "Whistler". He comes across as someone who pursues acting because he genuinely loves it in all it's craft, which is rather refreshing, and that trademark bizarre bitter sardonic rage filled presence he seems to regularly bring to the screen with him, is quite well placed in this film. Julie Benz, while possibly coming across as annoying to some ALSO fits the bill, because realistically if you imagine the character of a reformed stripper, THAT is exactly how they would be, at least in my mind, though unfortunately I wouldn't be surprised if she came across this way in most of the films she's been in.

After the criminal deed is done and finished with, the remaining half of the film is dedicated to presenting how harsh the legal process can be on victims, and why many find it hard to face. It is indeed a point worthy of stressing, though it is done in a way that comes across as slightly tedious. In essence, the directing, and the exemplification of the character's emotions shows lack of artistry. The court scene was overdramatised to the point of being a bit of a farce. The amount of balls that the defence attorney would have to have to present his defence would have to be quite immense, shamelessly dragging the protagonist through the mud and alleging that everything was planned entirely by her, and that she forced his client to go along with it when he had a mountain of evidence against his client, including the dozen prior bank robbery convictions, the fact that none of the recovered money was found in the possession of the protagonist, not to mention forced entry of the house. But in the end, he may have just been a dumb, arrogant, overly ambitious lawyer, as may have been emphasized when he had the audacity to object to the closing statements of the victim.

A decent film overall in terms of being solidly put together. Not over the top to the point of being unrealistic, though it brings nothing new, interesting, or shocking to the table either. At the same time, Assuming the reader has no general prejudices, I can't think of a reason for them to not watch it.

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