Drama abounds in *John Q


By Rae Licari

Drama abounds in *John Q

review by Rae Licari

O.K., so maybe I’m just a jaded cynic, but I really wasn’t all that excited to see *John Q. I mean, yeah, Denzel Washington hasn’t ever made a truly *bad movie, but does the cinematic world really need another tug-at-the-heartstrings drama?

Apparently, it does. *John Q, then, is a touching portrayal of a working class family’s struggle against the bourgeoisie medical world in the form of a hostage-thriller flick. Chock-full of drama and just a hint of action, the film is designed to yank mercilessly at your emotions.

And the film actually does a pretty good job of that. Several times throughout the film’s span of two hours, I had to remind myself to revert to my normal cynical state of mind and ease up my grip on the seat’s armrest. The cinematography and plot made me tense in spite of my jaded self.

For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer’s the story of the movie is thus: John Q. Archibald (Washington) is your average factory worker until his son Michael (Daniel E. Smith) collapses during a baseball game and is rushed to the hospital. The problem: Michael needs a new heart. The solution: a $250,000 transplant. The other problem: John’s insurance won’t cover it.

So after all the fundraising attempts end up in dead ends and the hospital plans to release his son, the only solution John can see is to take the hospital hostage in an attempt to force the transplant.

How’s it going to end? I’m not going to give it away. But I will say this: the story was extremely predictable.

That’s really the film’s only downfall — its predictability. The acting was top-notch and the plot was coherent (for once, thank God) … I just had the whole thing figured out after the first 15 minutes.

One thing’s for sure, though — after watching this movie, I’m definitely going to be an organ donor.

*Grade: B


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