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Jon Hamm is particularly gifted at inhabiting characters who are booze-sodden wrecks of men. In the Middle East thriller The Negotiator, as in Mad Men, he manages to be smoulderingly charismatic while also looking as though he smells like a pub carpet.
He plays Mason Skiles, a former high-flying diplomat who left Beirut in the 1970s after the death of his wife, and has subsequently concentrated on drinking himself numb. But 10 years later, a call comes asking for his help in negotiating the release of a captive – a friend with whom Mason has cut ties. Rosamund Pike, undercover as a “skirt” from the tourist office, is the CIA operative who is tasked with keeping Mason out of trouble.
Written by Tony Gilroy (the Bourne series) and directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist), this is an enjoyably pacey spy picture, unfolding against the backdrop of a country that has imploded. It’s a film in which smiles are masks and conversations are loaded with double meanings. The only thing Mason can truly trust is the next drink.
Source: The Guardian
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