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The Negotiation (2018)

Rating:
6.50
Year:
2018
Country:
Korea
Director:
Duration:
114

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The Negotiation (2018) Review

ABOUT THE MOVIE

The Negotiation is a 2018 South Korean action crime thriller film directed by Lee Jong-seok and starring Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin. The film was released on September 19, 2018.

Two English-speaking men kidnap a man and a woman and hold them hostage at a house in Yangjae-dong, Seoul. Crisis negotiator Inspector Ha Chae-youn of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Department is brought in to handle the situation, despite strong protests from her superior, Captain Jung Jun-gu. While Chae-youn is negotiating with the kidnappers, Jung decides to send a police hit team to kill the men, culminating in an altercation between Chae-youn and the kidnappers. In retaliation, the kidnappers kill the couple in front of a horrified Chae-youn, before being killed by Jung's team.

Ten days later, a devastated Chae-youn decides to resign from the police force, but a compassionate Jung gives her time to reconsider before leaving on a work trip. Chae-youn is then urgently called upon by her colleague - Superintendent Ahn Hyuk-su, who informs that she has been urgently summoned to deal with a hostage crisis. Upon arrival to a secret location, she meets with the Commissioner of Police Moon Jong-hyuk and Presidential Secretary Gong. She is ordered to negotiate with the kidnapper - Min Tae-gu, a Korea-based international arms dealer and UK citizen, who had kidnapped several Korean nationals from Bangkok - including a reporter named Lee Su-mok. While negotiating with Min video conferencing, she is shocked to discover that Min has also kidnapped jung.

Chae-yoon is later informed that the hostages are being held at an island in the Malacca Straits, where a joint military-police op has been sent to, intent on freeing them. Min later demands to see Yong Dong-hoon, Lee's boss. While talking with Dong-hoon, Min demands to know whether Lee is one of his reporters or not (while holding him at gunpoint)- forcing Dong-hoon to reply that Lee is not a reporter. An angry Min then executes Jung - much to Chae-youn's despair and grief. Infuriated, she demands to know the truth about Lee. She is informed that Lee is an NIS agent who was sent to spy on Min's gang. Meanwhile, Min negotiates with the NIS, but when they grow impatient, he reveals that he has taken an entire family hostage as well. Failing to deal with Min, Chae-youn is brought back to negotiate with him.

Min now orders Chae-youn to bring his former boss, Koo Gwan-su - the chairman of 'Nine Electronics', an arms contracting company, to speak with him. Chae-youn is informed that Min and Koo had a history - the pair used to work together, but they fell apart after Koo betrayed Min to the NIS. While talking with Koo, Min demands to know why he killed a woman named Yu Hyun-ju. Koo replies that he does not know what he is talking about - to which Min explains to Chae-youn that Hyun-ju was the woman killed in the Yangjae case. He further reveals that he introduced Hyun-ju to Koo as a secretary for his business and assisted him in money laundering and contraband arms dealing. He plays a recording of Koo's deal, indicting Koo, NIS Deputy Chief Park In-kyu, Commander of Air Force Son Jung-tae and the National Security Chief Hwang Ju-ik.

Min orders Hwang to come to negotiate with him in one hour. However, Gong is revealed to be one of Hwang's cronies and lies to Chae-youn at the presidential office. Meanwhile, upon a thorough investigation, Ahn reveals to Chae-youn that Jung was in contact with Park - he had taken a bribe from Park to kill Hyun-ju. However, Chae-youn's team attempts to stall the negotiations for more time. Moreover, they are shocked to discover that Min had been live-streaming their talks on YouTube, which further escalates the situation into a national crisis. Min then shoots Lee in the leg, demanding to see Hwang, threatening dire consequences if he does not show up. Ahn visits the Yangjae crime scene, discovering through old photos that Hyun-ju was Min's sister. He promptly passes the information to Chae-youn - who begs Min to let the hostages free in return for reopening Hyun-ju's case. While they are talking, the military op is executed, despite Chae-youn's protests. Min then seemingly detonates a suicide bomb that kills him and the hostages.

While the police and military are about to close the case, Chae-youn discovers through the video recordings of the negotiations that Min is still alive - and had been negotiating all the while from Korea. Ahn discovers Min's hideout and rescues the hostages. Chae-youn demands Gong about Hwang's whereabouts. Based on Gong's information, she rushes to Hwang's hotel suite in downtown Seoul and reaches there moments after Min arrives. Min, who has strapped himself to a suicide bomb vest, shoots Koo dead and threatens to kill everyone present as well, including himself. He reveals to Chae-youn that he was the one who had Hyun-ju killed. Chae-youn pleads with Min to stand down, promising to get justice for Hyun-ju and to punish Hwang. Seeing a resemblance of his sister in Chae-youn, Min discreetly apologizes to Chae-youn for all that he is done to her. Knowing that he will be killed, he pretends to raise his gun at Hwang - resulting in him getting killed by a police sniper - much to Chae-youn's grief.

Along with Son and Park, Hwang discusses creating an alibi to escape criminal prosecution when Chae-youn walks in the right on them, announcing that they are under arrest, much to the trio's shock. Chae-youn is shown to have acquired one of Min's pen drives through Ahn - containing all the information about Hwang and his co-conspirators. Hwang, Son and Park are then brought to court to be prosecuted, based on the evidence from Min's pen drive. The film then ends with Chae-youn reading the oath of honesty to the court