Despite the histrionics of the set-up, the fact that 'Saw' essentially butchered this sort of premise, and the maximalist style prevalent could rival an Oliver Stone film, this is characterisation at its finest. Conflict reveals character in a high stakes dilemma for a petty criminal protagonist whose denouement is still redeemable. Farrell plays this role to a tee.
Challenging task delivering a script fundamentally circumscribed to the limits of a phone booth. The story often weakens & the dialogues between hostage-sniper lose logic & eloquence in places but the tension is fairly maintained throughout, supported by the capable Farrell & Whitaker and despite the laughable efforts of Radha Mitchell & Katie Holmes, their faces stunned after just having been hit by wood planks.