Outwitting the bad guys

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 January, 2011, 12:00am

The Japanese TV drama series The Negotiator (Koshonin) became an instant hit when it premiered in 2008. Its heroine, Reiko Usagi (Ryoko Yonekura), captured the hearts of viewers with her beauty and intelligence.

Now, with the release of The Negotiator: The Movie, Usagi once again relies on her wit and negotiation skills to save the day.

In the film, a group of criminals seize more than 260 million yen (HK$24.3 million) from an armoured truck and escape into a crowded shopping mall.

Usagi and members of a special investigative team from Tokyo police rush to the scene, and gang leader Keiichiro Mido (Masahiko Tsugawa) is arrested. But his accomplice Shinya Nakagawa (Takashi Sorimachi) flees amid the chaos.

A few weeks later, Usagi goes to the airport to fly off for a holiday. She sees a man who was one of the hostages in the shopping mall stand-off. Usagi is instantly suspicious and follows him on a flight to Hokkaido.

Things heat up as another hostage drama unfolds after takeoff. Usagi and the special police team's skills are pushed to the limit as the criminal makes his demands aboard the hijacked plane.

Producer Satoko Uchiyama, director Hidetomo Matsuda and screenwriter Toshio Terada were the brains behind the TV series. The trio also came up with the TV hits Black Leather Notebook, Kemono Michi and Warui Yatsura (collectively known as the 'Vamp Trilogy'), which also star Yonekura.

The Negotiator: The Movie opens on January 27