The Negotiator

Year: 1998
Director: F Gary Gray
Cast: Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, J T Walsh, Paul Giamatti, Ron Rifkin, Jon Spencer
An example of the other Samuel L Jackson, the one who chooses movies like Deep Blue Sea and xXx, the Samuel L Jackson we think is really cool but who at times takes money jobs in vanilla-flavoured thrillers or comedies.

This movie looked like a subversive, slick thriller in the vein of Se7en. Instead it was kind of predictable. Jackson plays an elite police negotiator framed for corruption who takes the office of Internal Affairs and the staff he believes responsible hostage.

Nobody - not his former colleagues and friends or anybody else - can talk him down. There's only one man potentially better, and that's another negotiator. Enter a cool and collected Spacey who comes in and races the clock while the itchy trigger finger SWAT teams and police commandos just want to go in with all guns blazing.

Taut and interesting at times but miscast - I didn't buy Jackson's man-on-the-edge nor Spacey's take-command-to-get-it-done types.

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