John Q (2002)


This movie has a lot of heart, sure, but it doesn’t have a good story to go with it. The movies story and pacing is so weak and slow, that at times it makes it hard to watch. It has excellent plot devices yet never pulls through with them. For example, the entire hostage scene with Denzel in the hospital felt so rushed, and badly paced that you feel more confusion than empathy. I felt it could’ve gone for a good hour, yet only lasts for about a half-hour. Too bad. I didn’t appreciate the producers adding Eddie Griffin as comic relief, since we’re supposed to feel for Washington’s character and his plight.

The addition of Griffin as comic relief just felt like they were padding an already sanctimonious polemic about the medicine industry. I also would have liked to see Ray Liotta who plays the police chief and Robert Duvall, who plays a simple cop go at it more behind the scenes, and show how they dealt with the moral implications of Washington’s character’s dilemma. Some tension between the pair would have made for great drama. Plus, the plot is so contrived that it’s pretty much a remake of “Dog Day Afternoon.” Except rather than a subtle commentary on poverty and class warfare, we’re given a hokey and often silly commentary about the medical industry, and corruption within the establishment.

It paints every medical official as slimy and villainous, and in the end tries very hard to convince us that a man’s heart could fit in to a young boy’s body. That’s not only ridiculous, but insulting. The dialogue and situations are so far-fetched and so absurd that it felt like an after school special. Also, the ending completely derails the point of the plot that it’s annoying, the last twenty minutes of the movie were so dull and uninteresting that I was disgusted. You figure a movie with actors like Ray Liotta, James Woods, Robert Duvall, Ann Heche, Denzel Washington would be a masterpiece, but they prove you wrong. Overall, it’s not but a big build-up with a small bang. A poorly scripted and plotted PSA with sloppy plot holes, gigantic lapses in logic, a preachy message, and a terrible delivery. You can miss this one.