Not Everything Is What It Appears To Be In This Film
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 01/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Takashi Miike, the film "Negotiator," [aka: "Koshonin"] is not your usual typical Miike fare. Also, this film is a Japanese Television episode. And while this is not a bad film, it is not a very good film either. The films narrative centers on one of Japan's most noted hostage negotiators, Inspector Ishida (Hiroshi Mikami). Those who have seen the film "Premonition" [aka: Yogen] will remember him as the bereaved father who has ominous premonitions of peoples deaths. There is more to Inspector Ishida than the viewer is privy to in this particular film. The film opens with the robbing of a convenience store clerk (Kenichi Endo) who has appeared in numerous Miike films ["Deadly Outlaw: Rekka," "The Happiness of the Katakuris," "Gozu," and "One Missed Call," among others].
Three robbers have just entered this convenience store at gunpoint in order to rob the place. Or have they? Is there more to this robbery than meets the eye? As the police look for these criminals, a call comes in from a patrol officer that the getaway vehicle has been discovered outside of a hospital. Moreover, the suspects appear to be inside. What ensues is a hostage standoff. Or is there something else taking place? Inspector Ishida is partnered up with another negotiator named Tono (Mayu Tsuruta). Together, they make for one interesting team in trying to negotiate for the release of the hostages in the hospital. Yet, there is more to these two hostage negotiators than meets the eye. What is it about these two negotiators and the suspects? And are the suspects in the hospital the same ones who robbed the convenience store?
One Inspector in charge of this team is Lt. Ando (Shiro Sano) who some might remember as Dr. Akai in the film "Infection." He suspects that there is something strange with the entire hostage crises, and frankly, its funny to see his reaction to the hostage crises when he watches the interaction of the two skilled negotiators. To tell too much of this film will destroy it for you. Therefore, I will write that this film is not what you think it is. There is something else going on that will surprise you concerning the entire hostage crises. And it is funny when Lt. Ando finally discovers this out. Actor Renji Ishibashi has a bit role in this film [as he does in many if not most of Miike's films]. However, his role is very small, and I wish he was given a more prominent role. While not the worst film of its genre, this film was not that good either. The film IS above average, and worth the watch. But I recommend you rent it first. With the great actors that are in the film, and an outstanding director behind the lens, I expected more: And it should have been much better. Recommended with caution. Rent it first. [Stars: 3.5]"