Thursday, August 20, 2020

Movie Review: The Negotiation

My interest in watching TV programs or movies that featured Hyun Bin started when I finished his series Crash Landing on You (CLOY) on Netflix. After watching another series of his, Memories of the Alhambra, I decided to make the switch and watch one of his movies next. This time, I chose the hostage drama The Negotiation.

The film also stars his CLOY leading lady Son Ye Jin. If I am not mistaken this was their first project together and CLOY followed this. The movie features hostage negotiator Ha Chae Youn (Son Ye Jin), who at the start of the movie has a female hostage die in her arms and causing her to want to resign from the job.

However, before she could even resign, she was called over to negotiate via video chat with arms dealer Min Tae Gu (Hyun Bin). She is not given much detail on what is going on but apparently, Tae Gu is holding some government personnel hostage in Indonesia and all she has to do is to keep him talking until the military can have enough time to get to where he is holding his hostages.

There is a big twist involved in terms of why Tae Gu was holding people hostage and what his intentions really were, including why he asked specifically for Chae Youn to talk to him. It was a good twist, but I felt like the big surprise was not executed in a way that would shock the viewers. It would have been nice if it did but with the movie revealing the corruption in the government early on, Tae Gu’s personal involvement with the people in power and the reason he did what he did was not as much of a shock as it was an “oh, that made sense” kind of thing.

It was too bad that Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin only had one actual scene together in the end. Considering the chemistry that they had on CLOY, it would have good to see that in this type of movie. Having them interact via a computer monitor did not do much for them. I felt that it was difficult for the actors to react to each other well considering they were only reacting to a screen (which most likely didn’t have the other person on it to react to when they were filming anyway).

Another thing about that one scene that they had together was that it seemed that there was supposed to be this attraction that they had for each other after talking online. As good as they tried to show the regret that they had from being on opposite sides, I felt that this “attraction” was not established enough for it to be believable.

It was nice to see Hyun Bin play a bad guy role for a change. He always seems to play this rich leading man type who is perfect and all that. Seeing him being a tough guy and having a completely different attitude compared to his other roles was refreshing. I like seeing him play the bad guy, he's good at it. My favorite part of the movie was the end where you could see how hurt he was and determined to make things right in his eyes, no matter how much regret he felt for doing it in that way.

I also felt that Son Ye Jin was underused in this one. There really was not much for her character to do, which was sad considering that the start of the movie felt like she was going to be an exciting character. It was mostly just reacting to the screen and it was a bit of a waste of her talent.

Still, The Negotiation was an OK movie. It felt like it had the potential to be more but sadly was not able to do that.

The Negotiation is available to rent from Google Movies and from YouTube.


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