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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Negotiator

Lone cop fights corruption in a unique way

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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Aug. 1, 1998 -- "The Negotiator" is a slightly different take on the old movie theme of a framed cop fighting against corruption in high places on the force to clear his name. From "Serpico" to "L.A. Confidential," last year's best film, there have been numerous movies on the subject, but seldom is one so deftly handled as this one is.

Samuel L. Jackson plays police hostage negotiator Danny Roman, who is framed for the murder of his friend. The planted evidence is so convincing that Roman's lawyer tells him he'd better make a deal. Pushed into a corner, he takes hostages in the internal affairs division of the police building in a desperate attempt to use his negotiation skills to buy time so he can get to the bottom of who is behind the frame-up.

Roman maneuvers the police into allowing him to negotiate with another police negotiator he thinks he can trust, Chris Sabian, (played by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey). The two face off in a memorable battle of wits and skill as Jackson and his hostages race the clock to find out the truth.

Jackson and Spacey are both great actors and they are at the top of their form in this movie. They play intelligent characters caught up in a game of life and death. The script, by James DeMonaco and Kevin Fox is loaded with complexity and good dialog. While many situations strain credulity because the plot takes no real risks and steers clear of real moral dilemmas, I was still willing to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the ride, up to a point. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1998 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)