Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike star as CIA agents in the thriller ‘The Negotiator’ (a/k/a Beirut), in cinemas and on digital HD from August 10th.
In 1972, former U.S. diplomat, Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm), was caught up in a terrorist attack that changed his life forever. While throwing a party for the local elite in Beirut, the son Karim (Yoav Sadian Rosenberg) he and his wife Nadia (Leila Bekhti) had adopted was taken. It turned out that Karim had an older brother who happened to be a notorious Palestinian terrorist who wanted to be reunited with him.
10 years later, while working as a mediator in Boston, Skiles receives an unwanted invitation to go back to Beirut. Quickly dragged back into the system he hastily left, Mason is assigned a mission by CIA Agent Donald Gaines (Dean Norris) of negotiating a swap with a terrorist group: a kidnapped American CIA agent for a terrorist leader. But when obligated to cooperate, Skiles is assigned a cultural attaché (Rosamund Pike) to help navigate the city. Unravelling clues and uncovering political agendas along the way, the duo discovers that relationships between America, Palestine and Israel may be more complex, and corrupt, than first thought. And the masterminds behind this kidnapping happen to the adopted son and his older brother. This all takes place in the backdrop of war-torn 1982 Beirut.
From the writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Bourne Identity, ‘The Negotiator’ is a suspenseful drama with great acting and action sequences. Hamm might have found a new movie career after Mad Men in this role. Pike is in fine form but takes a back seat to Hamm and the other actors. ‘The Negotiator’, at 1 hour and 49 minutes, ticks by quickly and provides lots of suspense in an ‘Argo’ and ‘Jason Bourne’ – like style drama.
Review by Tim Baros