The Negotiator (1998),
This review is from: The Negotiator (Widescreen) (DVD)Director: F. Gary Gray
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, J.T. Walsh.
Running Time: 135 minutes.
Rated R for violence and language.
When the director has the lucky chance to work with not just one, but TWO of the most exceptional modern actions of the past decade, he should have been licking his chops in anticipation. Director F. Gary Gray (whose previous work was with Ice Cube and Chris Tucker in "Friday") uses the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey to his advantage, creating a fast-paced action-drama that uses both actors as chess pieces that are intertwined in a suspenseful race against time.
Jackson stars as an extremely successful hostage negotiatior who loses his partner in an accident. When he is framed for the accident as murder, he takes matters into his own hands by taking hostages himself. Kevin Spacey is the top-of-the-line officer assigned to assist the police department with consultations with Jackson, only to find himself in the most unique hostate situation he has ever encountered. Both must learn to trust each other, with Jackson attempting to find the true answers about his partner's death and Spacey trying to keep his incredible reputation in tact.
Gray does a fine job using the intense script (which unfortunately does have a few logical lapses), producing a motion picture that possesses all the essential ingredients to be a successful and enteraining flick. Jackson is very good in the lead role, while Spacey is as his usual best. Although F. Gary Gray was lucky enough to have excellent people for support, he does a fine job pulling off one of the better action thrillers of the year.