(Air Date: Week Of 9/25/96)
Is "Extreme Measures", a thriller starring Hugh Grant, a contradiction in terms? Well, it depends on what you expect in a thriller. How about a medical thriller with Grant as Dr. Guy Luthan? Any E/R viewer knows that Grant screaming "Bring me everything!" in an emergency is not going to win any awards for biting realism.
Gene Hackman is the mysterious Dr. Lawrence Myrick, in other words, the villain. He knows it, you know it, I know it, the only one who doesn't know it for MOST of the movie is, you guessed it, Dr. Guy Luthen. There's a lot of stuff in here about ETHICS and how much you can get away with the homeless in the name of SCIENCE. And they stack the deck in the dramatic confrontation between the good guy and the bad guy at movie's end. If you're a fan of Grant or Hackman, you won't mind. If you're a thriller junkie, you may wonder why video movies have such a lousy rep, compared to these high-priced star fests.
The drag about all this is that Michael Apted, the most thoughtful and engaging of directors, is at the helm. But Grant's girlfriend, Elizabeth Hurley, produced, so there are no love scenes, not to mention a plot that makes sense. In case you're wondering about the presence of Miss Sarah Jessica Parker in the cast, she plays a plot point, Nurse Jodie Trammel, by name. This is the second movie I've seen this year where St. Elsewhere's David Morse plays, not very well, a creep. So, in the absence of anything remotely suggestive of chills and spills, does Hugh Grant have the riveting angst to sustain "Extreme Measures"? Well, that depends...On late night cable? Sure. On the big screen? Don't award-winning doctors have to pass SOME sort of an I.Q. test? If you can get past that, enjoy "Extreme Measures", opening nationally this week.
Copyright 1996 Monica Sullivan
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