The Negotiator (1998)

“I once talked a guy out of blowing up the Sears Tower but I can’t talk my wife out of the bedroom or my kid off the phone. ” – Chris Sabian

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Theater in ’98 and 26 Nov 2017)

Brief Synopsis – After a police negotiator is framed for murdering his own partner, he decides to take drastic measure sin order to try and prove his innocence.

My Take on it – I remember when I first saw this trailer probably about twenty years ago.

The draw of having Kevin Spacey and Samuel L. Jackson in the same film was electrifying.

Both of them are among the best orators on film and all they need is great dialogue to make things happen.

Unfortunately, this film lacks some of that great dialogue that would make it so much better having these heavyweights together on screen.

There are some great scenes written perfectly for these two, but most miss the mark.

The story itself is too predictable and very little truly happens that is outright surprising.

Despite this, there are some great scenes that help us care about the characters.

The film is a bit too long and unfortunately meanders a bit towards the end.

This could have been helped by excising some scenes that just don’t need to be there.

Jackson is great as a man against the wall, but comes awfully close to being too over the top.

Bottom Line – Spacey and Jackson are both amazing orators but this film lacks amazing dialogue for it to work the whole time. Just watching these two amazing actors onscreen together in the trailer was enough to get me to watch it the first time with lots and lots of excitement and anticipation.   The story is a bit predictable and not much happens that isn’t expected. Despite being predictable, the story is quite gripping but meanders too much towards the end and might have been better if slightly shortened.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The movie was originally written to star Sylvester Stallone and Kevin Spacey. Spacey was supposed to be the hostage-taker and Stallone playing opposite him. When Stallone turned down the part, Spacey decided he wanted the other part, and his original part was recast to Samuel L. Jackson. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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One thought on “The Negotiator (1998)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1998 |

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