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Talking their way out of trouble; THE NEGOTIATOR (15, 140mins).

This hostage drama and psychological thriller stars men of the moment Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey. Jackson plays top hostage negotiator Danny Roman whose best mate is killed after telling him of a scam involving the police pension fund. Framed for the murder as part of a cover-up, Roman turns hostage-taker and demands to talk to rival negotiator Chris Sabian (Spacey) to help him uncover the truth.

Undermining our enjoyment is a flawed set-up which means that we never believe in Roman's behaviour. And the details of the pension swindle are incredibly confusing. But when Jackson and Spacey face off, all such quibbles vanish. There's a brilliant movie in here, but it outstays its welcome by half an hour. At times I felt as if I was being held hostage. SIMON ROSE
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Rose, Simon
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 27, 1998
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