Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman square off in a bristling thriller packed with tension and a medical-ethics dilemma that will keep you thinking long after the film ends.Year: 1996 Director: Michael Apted Starring: Hugh Grant G... more »ene Hackman Sarah Jessica ParkerRunning Time: 118 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA UPC: 053939251029« less
Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 06/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Michael Palmer's novel owes a lot to Robin Crook's novel Coma which was filmed by Michael Crichton and uses the same hospital setting for scientific experimentation. Director Michael Apted may not have Crichton's touch for paranoid thrillers but clearly producer Elizabeth Hurley saw the property as a change of image vehicle for her then boyfriend Hugh Grant. Although here Grant only partly manages to suppress the self-conscious ticks and stammerings that he used in his cross-over hit Four Weddings and a Funeral, his apologetic body language still fits as a British doctor in an New York public hospital who stumbles across a medical conspiracy (the ole doctors playing God again). The screenplay by Tony Gilroy has Grant repeat phrases like "Let me just get this clear", as if being British gave him some language barrier, and his reaction to an obstructive laboratory attendant is amusing in his understated outrage, culminating in "You're quite a creepy person". For those who find Grant's schtick annoying, this perormance is one to be admired. The film is notable for Sarah Jessica Parker wearing an odd half-brown half-red hairdo (Madonna has a lot to answer for), Gene Hackman playing older than his real age, and the presentation of an underground world of darkness where the homeless and dispossessed live in the bowels of Grand Central Station. Although an art director's delight, one gets the feeling this is not an imaginary location. The mystery at the centre of the film involves the use of those considered to "have nothing" and making them "heroes", but this logic is on a par with the Nazi doctors who used concentration camp inmates for experimental research. And any medical facility which employs security guards who use their guns before their brains can't be good. Apted uses some tired thriller conventions like the foot caught in a railroad track with an oncoming train, the dark figure appearing in the background to see someone searching secret paperwork, and a fistfight in a descending elevator with the numbers lighting up, and Gilroy lingers so long on one plot point that we can easily guess that is a deception. The Danny Elfman score has suggestions of gothic malevolence but Apted misuses it."
A missed opportunity.
S. Hebbron | Leicester UK | 06/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The premise of this film is both excellent, interesting and credible. It had the ability to be "Coma" for the 90's, and aswell as raising the issue of the vulnerability of the patient role it highlights the occasional corrupt, explotative nature of the Medical profession. All very real fears, all quiet likely and delivered with believable conviction by a sterling cast. Grant is not always quite believable but this may have more to do with his established typecast as the eternal British fop and speaking as an Englishman I have to say both he and then Girlfiend Hurley (who produced this film) do overplay the Englishness with grating regularity! Hackman is brilliantly menacing, Parker is subdued and intelligently simmering. The film gathers a sleuth like pace, like the very best of tense thrillers and then it sells out near the end and ruins the enitire work, divorcing itself from reality for the sake of cheap thrills. A terrible shame!"
A movie worth watching!
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Extreme Measures does an EXCELLENT job of shedding light on the sensitive issue of how far is far enough in relation to scientific advancement and experimentation. It deals with concepts such as where does one set the boundaries in regards to Medicine and Science, as well as touching on the topics of Morality, Change and Progress, and questions like do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or should it be the other way around? Most importantly, it brings attention to and succeeds in making people aware of the existence of such dilemmas, which have been characteristic of mankind throughout history. Hugh Grant does a great job in his dramatic role as Dr Guy Luthan, as does Gene Hackman as Dr Lawrence Myrick. It is an amazing thriller with familiar elements from the X-Files. The plot, the setting, and the dialogues are all very good! Extreme Measures is a very good movie, guaranteed to provide an evening's entertainment. In addition, it is one of those films that gets you and keeps you thinking long after it's over. Overall, it is a movie definitely worth watching! "
TERRIFYING MEDICAL THRILLER - GREAT TRANSFER
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 04/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Extreme Measures" is the story of Dr. Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant), a physician working out his residency at Gramercy Hospital. Guy's personal life and profession seem to be right on track until one of his patients unexpectedly dies of mysterious circumstances. Was it medical malpractice, an accident or something much more sinister? Not since Michael Crighton's "Coma" have we seen a medical suspense/thriller told with such skill and timely shock value. Nothing is what it appears to be and no one is who they report themselves to be. Sarah Jessica Parker costars as Jodie Trammel, a nurse and Guy's most trusted friend. She is distraught when Guy is arrested for drug possession but is her apprehension at testifying on his behalf a byproduct of her own disappointment, or is she cloaking a more guarded secret. Gene Hackman is simply marvelous as Dr. Lawrence Myrick, a benevolent crusader in stem cell research who is actually using his connections and considerable clout to fund a clinic using human test subjects.
Originally released under the Castlerock label, which used to belong to Columbia Tristar, this movie is now the property of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment and it looks marvelous on DVD. Colors are well balanced, bold and rich. Flesh tones are infinitely more accurate on the DVD than on the previously released laserdisc or VHS versions from Columbia. Contrast and shadow delineation are superb with fine detail visible even during the darkest scenes. The disc is correctly framed in its 2:35:1 ratio and anamorphically enhanced. The audio is a 5.1 mix and nicely balanced with a very aggressive bass that will give your speakers a work out. There are NO extras. I suppose I could fault Warner for not giving us a featurette but with a transfer this good - who cares?
Frank White | Dallas, Texas USA | 06/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw this film today 11 years after it's release and loved it. The acting, pacing, and writing are excellent. The film does follow a formula we have all seen but in this case I applaud the use of a formula in order to keep the plot moving and the focus on the ultimate question-What is the value of human life? This movie is entertaining and smart."