Much better than what I expected, after all this is the same man that directed the terrible "Devil's Advocate".
Russel Crowe, again plays "himself", quiet, strong, silent, sure of himself, and appears quite believable. Meg Ryan, is still beautiful, but deglamourizes herself a little, and it works. David Caruso, always a treat to see him, plays a very cool security specialist, that just becomes euphoric at the end and kind of spoils it, but, it had to be like that, otherwise the movie would be too much of "a downer". David Morse, very nicely playing an engineer with a social conscience.
The plot, is quite realistic, showing that the hostage negotiations take a long time (over 4 months), not like in the movies where commandos save the day in under 24 hours.
Very realistic portrayal of the national negotiators that just want to take advantage of the stressed relatives of the hostage, those of us in the third world know that to be a familiar story.
The romantic relationship between the leads (the worried wife and the cool negotiator), nicely underplayed (I loved it when she absently-minded drinks from his beer glass while David Caruso silently just watches it all, or when she rubs his shoulders after a hard day's work), and still, they did NOT have sex, because, quite logically, she was waiting for her husband (shocking for a Hollywood film, isn't it).
In the end the husband and wife realize that they were losing their marriage over stupid things and accept that being married requires an effort.
If you like your entertainment real: Go see this one! If you want a "Rambo" flick: Avoid at all costs.
No, in the end she doesn't leave her husband for the negotiator, Crowe goes home alone, sorry if it isn't Hollywood enough for some, great REALISTIC ending for me.
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