The Negotiator: Premiere Collection

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Al Barnes

Plot: What’s it about?

The middleman between a desperate gunman holding hostages and a SWAT team poised for the kill is the “Negotiator” Danny Roman, (Samuel L. Jackson) a man who makes life and death decisions a part of his normal work day. Criticized and respected by his fellow officers for his cowboy style Roman quickly finds himself scrutinized by those same officers for embezzling their retirement funds. To make matters worse Roman finds his partner murdered and the cops find him leaning over the body. A victim of circumstance Roman is thrust to the other side of negotiations as the hostage taker…in police headquarters of all places. As the last doubters of his innocence assemble to take him down and free his hostages Roman asks for Chris Sabian, (Academy Award recipient Kevin Spacey) a fellow negotiator from another precinct who might have some objectivity about Roman’s guilt or innocence. As Jackson tries to find the crooked cops responsible for his setup and the SWAT team is ready to “let fly the dogs of war” and put a swift end to the siege, Sabian becomes his last chance to beat prison or death…to a cop a they’re one in the same.

The beginning of this movie starts out a bit slow as the base of the plot is set and we are introduced to a fine cast of supporting actors. I started to become a bit restless and somewhat distracted…I don’t really know by what…and then Kevin Spacey hits the scene and pulls everyone together with a bucket full of charisma that shines in front of the camera. From this point on, the movie never slows down. I was disappointed that the late J. T. Walsh was not given a character that would let his marvelous talents stand out. He was one of the best character actors who was about to break into lead roles…in my opinion anyway…what do you think? I’ve become a big Kevin Spacey fan as I see more and more of his work. My parents first brought my attention to Spacey early in his career and they recognized his abilities long before he made it big…remember Kevin as Mel Profit in the TV series Wise Guy? After all these years my Mom and Dad still have some good advice…don’t tell them I said that.

Video: How does it look?

Enhanced Widescreen and dual layer format played seamlessly. The nighttime camera work…mainly the whole movie…is super clear and the use of many multiple cameras in the explosive action sequences gives it a “large” appearance even inside the high-rise offices.

Audio: How does it sound?

Your ears are never held hostage nervously waiting for a last minute rescue by the subwoofer and the rest of his 5.1 team. The chop of helicopter blades, flash bangs and MP-5’s blaze on through most of the film making it necessary to straighten the pictures in my living room.

Supplements: What are the extras?

A nice package was put together for you behind the scene buffs. A documentary titled “The Eleventh Hour: Stories From Real Negotiators” is quite interesting and sometimes humorous. Production notes, another documentary and 5 trailers should be enough to hold you over to the next DVD.

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