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Extreme Measures (1996)
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Review Date: August 28, 2001
Director: Michael Apted
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Producers: Elizabeth Hurley, Chris Brigham
Actors:
Hugh Grant
Gene Hackman
Sarah Jessica Parker
Review:
Much better than I remembered, this film surprised me when I recently watched it again on video. Pretty thrilling, an EXTREMELY interesting premise (would you kill a few people if it meant the possibility of saving the lives of millions?), a great journey for Grant's character, who for once doesn't play the "bumbling, funny, romantic goofball" and an overall satisfying conclusion.

I really like "thrillers" that keep you playing along the whole way through. Now even though this film isn't a chase scene type of movie or anything, there is an ongoing connection to the film, as the premise leads you to question yourself, the motives of the people on either side, and the general morality of killing someone/saving someone's life. Quite thought-provoking, actually.

But I did have a couple of qualms with the flick. One, Sarah Jessica Parker's character is "window dressing" in every sense of the word and sadly, doesn't even look that great in the window. I also didn't go for the fact that pretty much every character on the "bad side" of the film, seemed to have a relative who was paralyzed and I especially didn't truly buy the fact that these people would commit nastiness in order to help their loved ones (I could believe it "in theory", I just didn't feel it in this movie).

I also didn't really buy the fact that there seemed to be this huge "underground" experiment going on, involving hundreds of people, etc... and yet, it was all kept totally secret until our little British friend stumbled upon it?!?

But these minor details apparently didn't bother me all that much because I still quite enjoyed this film and especially liked its play on what was "right" and what was "wrong". A very good question, especially in regards to the saving of other people's lives, etc...

Anyway, a good movie to watch if you're looking for suspense, a solid performance by Hugh Grant (who really went through the grinder here, as his character starts off smart and responsible, and turns into a supposed raving loony by the end) and food for thought.

Oh yeah, Toronto natives will also enjoying seeing every part of their city in this supposed "New York"-set movie...yeah, right!
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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