The Negotiator * F. Gary Gray * 1998

I don’t watch popular Hollywood action films very often and after watching “The Negotiator” I remember why. The promising cast with Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, J.T. Walsh, etc. was no guarantee for an enjoyable film. The story is standard: ‘negotiator’ Jackson is set up by his colleagues for missing money and the murder of his partner. Normally trying to talk hostage-takers out of their actions, Jackson takes people into hostage himself to prove his innocence. This does not go as planned, which is an opportunaty for some action-scenes. Spacey is called in to talk Jackson out of his actions, he develops a sympathy for Jackson’s situation and after an ‘surprising’ scene, all ends well. Not the most entertaining film. Not that the acting is bad, but the story and the way things are worked out are too 15-in-a-dozen.

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