In the midst of an elaborate conspiracy, an expert negotiator is driven to the edge when he's framed for the murder of his partner, as well as embezzling money from his department's pension fund. His only chance to prove his innocence is to take hostages himself, acquire the services of another expert negotiator, and find out who's running the conspiracy before it's too late. Written by
The film is dedicated to the late actor J.T. Walsh (Niebaum). This was one of 3 films of his to be released posthumously. See more »
The sharpshooter puts a laser dot on Roman's head and the officers in the helicopter light Roman up with about eight lasers while he's standing in the window. Police sharpshooters don't use laser sights (i.e. red dot on target). They're good enough to not need them and don't want to tip off the suspect that he's in their sights. Any cops who do have laser sights (which is unlikely, but conceivable) don't put them on the target and keep them there. The sights are for rapidly getting the gun on target - not replacing proper sight picture. See more »
The Negotiator presents us with both of two things in a summer full of flicks only containing one or the other: ambition AND intelligence. It doesn't have any qualms with taking a far-fetched concept and treating it with absolute seriousness, but unlike most movies that are willing to do this (especially some recent ones involving very large asteroids and very large lizards), it is able to pull it off by combining a tight script with strong, strong acting.
If this were a perfect world, Jackson would deserve an Oscar nomination for his performance here. There's no way on Earth he'll get it, of course, but he's given the difficult role here of playing a guy who has to convince the guys downstairs that he's a psycho, while convincing the guys he's kidnapped that he's innocent, and he does a flawless job of it. No easy task, especially when you consider the fact that he's got to throw in the occasional gunfight. At least he'll probably win the MTV award :)
What results is a skillfully made film. I enjoyed it. It made sense but kept me guessing, the action was intense but still followed logical patterns, and the ending was not a disappointment. An altogether fun experience.
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