John Q

New Line Pictures
Starring Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Anne Heche, Ray Liotta and James Woods.
Produced by Mark Burg & Oren Koules.
Written by James Kearns.
Directed by Nick Cassavetes.

This movie SUCKED on so many levels that it is hard to decide where to begin.

Premise - A man on hard times needs to get a heart transplant for his son but the hospital and his insurance company are denying him the procedure. While this should have and could have been an important film on the dangers faced by millions of Americans without proper medical insurance it instead became a bad movie that preached a message with poor writing and an unrealistic storyline.

Acting - The only marginally good performance comes from Denzel Washington as the father willing to do anything for his son. His actions and reactions to the people around him were one of the only believable strands of the story as we watched him move towards one final desperate act.

Meanwhile, the other established actors didn't even bother to phone in their performances. They played two-dimensional characters: the evil hospital administrator (Anne Heche); the chief of police (Ray Liotta) who just wants to look good on the news; the doctor (James Woods) who wants to perform the surgery but is prevented by the hospital, and the hostage negotiator (Robert Duvall) prevented from doing his job by Ray Liotta's camera-mugging. The other roles were filled by actors who tried very hard with the minimal material they were given.

It attempts to be a message film but it created such black and white characters that the message gets lost in the cartoonish presentation.

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