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"EXTREME MEASURES"
(1996) (Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Heavy Heavy Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Mild Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor None Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense/Thriller: A doctor discovers a medical conspiracy involving participants who will do anything to cover up secret medical experiments that are being performed on unwilling people.
PLOT:
Dr. Guy Luthan (HUGH GRANT) is an emergency room doctor who one night gets a patient with mysterious symptoms. Neither Guy nor nurse Jodie Trammel (SARAH JESSICA PARKER) can determine what's wrong with the man. He ends up dying, but before he does, he tells Guy some strange and interesting stuff, including the mention of another man, Teddy Dolson, and the word "Triphase." Luthan is curious as to what this man was talking about, and things get stranger when the body disappears from the morgue. As Guy begins to dig deeper and deeper into solving this evolving mystery, the hospital staff begins getting suspicious of him and his story. Soon they begin to doubt his sanity and that added to the planting of cocaine in his apartment by some mysterious bad guys, Agent Hare (DAVID MORSE) and Det. Burke (BILL NUNN), gets him thrown out of the hospital. Guy then finds Dolson and discovers that Triphase is home of some unethical medical experiments being performed by Dr. Lawrence Myrick (GENE HACKMAN). It seems that Myrick has moved from using rats to using homeless "mole" people (those that live under the city) as the subjects of his experiments to help paralyzed people regain mobility. As Guy gets closer to the truth, he puts his own life in danger as he attempts to stop the experiments.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of thrillers will, but younger kids won't.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, language, some nudity and graphic ER activity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HUGH GRANT plays a doctor who gets suspicious of the strange events and will do anything to find the truth. His bad trait is that he's taken hospital property (towels, etc...) to his apartment for personal use.
  • GENE HACKMAN plays a doctor who has a well-meaning goal (to help paralyzed people walk again), but who kidnaps homeless people and conducts medical experiments on them.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    A moderately successful medical thriller, this movie showcases Grant's move from romantic comedies into the thriller genre. Like the movie, he's moderately successful. At times he's rather believable as the young doctor who can't fathom what's happening to and around him. But at other times his delivering of lines and/or behavior nearly makes one want to laugh (and not because they're meant to be funny). Hackman, on the other hand, seems constrained, and it looks like many of this great actor's scenes were left on the editing room floor. His role should have been broader as it's the pivotal focus of the plot (whether the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few) and more scenes with him and Grant wrestling over what is right and wrong would have made for a more credible story. Of course this plot is just a rip off of the movie/novel "Coma" from many years ago (where people were kept in storage for organ transplants). Still, the movie is somewhat enjoyable and for that reason we give it a 6 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This film is probably too intense for younger viewers. There are many suspenseful and violent scenes as well as a heavy dosage of blood and gore. Profanity is extreme and many adult based, ethical issues are examined (though they'll probably go over the heads of younger viewers). For older, more mature teens, the ethical issues will make for interesting and thought provoking conversations with you. Other than some brief glimpses of two naked patients, there's no other nudity or sexual related material. We do suggest, as always, that you read through all of the listings before allowing your children to see this one.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In the ER, it's reported that a crack pipe was found in the pocket of an assailant.
  • People drink wine at a party for Dr. Myrick.
  • People have drinks at a medical reception.
  • The two FBI guys frame Guy by placing pure cocaine in his apartment where the police later find it.
  • Guy's father leaves a message on the answering machine saying that he'll come over and treat Guy to a congratulatory Tom Collins "or whatever you drink over there."
  • Jodie admits that she's working for Triphase because her brother was crippled by her driving drunk and getting into an accident.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • A cop and a bad guy are seen in an ER. Both are rather bloody as the cop's been shot (bloody chest) and the bad guy's been stabbed (bloody arm and neck). Guy removes the bandage from the assailant's arm and blood squirts onto Guy several times.
  • A wound is seen being sewn up and it's rather gross looking.
  • Guy inspects Teddy's back and removes bloody bandages to reveal a meaty and bloody wound in his back.
  • Hare shoots a "mole" man and his shoulder is quite bloody. Moments later he shoots Guy in the side and his wound is a bit bloody. Later, blood is seen dripping onto Guy's shoe from his wound.
  • Guy's nose is bloody after Hare's elbowed him there.
  • A large amount of blood flows from Myrick's body after he's been accidentally shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dr. Myrick (and many others) is using homeless people as scientific guinea pigs against their will. He thinks they're doing a good deed and looks at the hapless victims as "heroes." Myrick and the others will also do anything to discourage Guy from investigating any deeper into what they're doing.
  • Hare and Burke frame Guy by placing pure cocaine in his apartment so that the police will find it and arrest Guy.
  • The police also find that Guy had been taking hospital property (mainly old towels) back to his apartment.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Some scenes listed in "Violence" might also be viewed as tense.
  • Two lab patients try to escape while being chased by Hare and Burke.
  • Minkins begins to violently convulse in the ER and this might be upsetting to younger kids.
  • As Guy and another doctor walk through the ER, a woman (not seen) is screaming her head off. We never know what the problem is, but it may have the same effect as the above scene.
  • Hare and Burke chase Guy but lose him in traffic.
  • There is a rather long sequence where Guy is escorted down into the bowels of the city where it's very dark and spooky looking. He's very edgy and is eventually captured by the "mole" people who live underground.
  • Jodie helps Guy escape from his hospital room, but he's still trapped in the Triphase building. Everyone searches for him, including Hare who's armed with his handgun.
  • Guy gets stuck in an express elevator that's heading right for the armed Hare.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knife: Used by a "mole" (a person who lives underground) to threaten Guy.
  • Handgun: Used by the Hare and Burke to warn Guy and the "moles" to stop transporting Teddy. Moments later the guns are used to shoot two of the "mole" men dead and to wound Guy.
  • Handgun: Used by Guy to knock out Hare, and then later accidentally fired during a struggle where Dr. Myrick gets fatally shot.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Guy rides his motorbike through a red light as he's off to search for clues.
  • Phrases: "Screwed up," "Bastard," and "Bitching."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A steam vent shoots out steam onto Guy as he passes by in an underground tunnel.
  • Several "moles" (people living underground) suddenly come out of the darkness and grab Guy and wrap a rope around his neck.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • The movie is full of suspenseful music that accompanies the many suspenseful scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 25 "f" words (5 with the prefix "mother"), 21 "s" words, 5 hells, 4 "ass" words, 2 damns, 1 SOB, and 8 uses of "Oh God" or "Oh my God," 5 uses of "Jesus," 3 uses each of "Jesus Christ" and "God damn," and 1 use each of "For God's sake" and "For Christ's sake" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Two patients come running out of the lab stark naked as they try to escape the facility. It's rather dark and there are lots of shadows, but there are brief glimpses of both male frontal and rear nudity.
  • SMOKING
  • A homeless man smokes a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The wife of a wounded police officer waits outside the ER, but is told by Guy that her husband will make it.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Guy must make a decision as to whom to put into the operating room first: An injured cop, or the guy who shot him (who's in worse shape).
  • Guy tells Jodie that his father was a doctor until his licence was revoked for "easing" a patient's terminal lymphoma (ie. Assisted suicide).
  • Using homeless people as unwilling guinea pigs in lab experiments to better mankind. In other words, do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?
  • Guy wakes up to find himself paralyzed, and realizing his situation, he asks Myrick to medically end his life (He doesn't, and the paralysis is only temporary and drug induced).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Hare and Burke chase the two lab patients out on the city streets. Their car rams into other cars as they continue the chase.
  • A cop and a bad guy are seen in an ER. Both are rather bloody as the cop's been shot and the bad guy's been stabbed.
  • Guy returns to his apartment to find that his door was kicked in and his place ransacked.
  • Several "moles" (people living underground) suddenly come out of the darkness and grab Guy and wrap a rope around his neck. Later, one of them pulls out a knife, but it's never used.
  • Hare and Burke approach Guy and several of the "mole" people who are walking through the subway tunnels as they're carrying Teddy to the hospital. The agents fire warning shots and Guy realizes they're not going to get out alive. A scuffle breaks out and one of the mole guys is shot. Hare shoots one of them in the head while the other "mole" hits Burke on the head with a pipe and then holds it around his neck. Hare then shoots at Guy who's running away and then shoots the other "mole" who lands on the electric rail and is zapped. Burke gets his foot stuck in the tracks and his hit by a train (implied). Hare then chases after Guy and shoots him in the side. He stumbles along and just manages to dive out of the way of an oncoming train that also nearly hits Hare.
  • Jodie's brother hits Guy in the back with a large pipe and knocks him out. Later, Guy finds himself paralyzed in a hospital bed (although the paralysis later turns out to temporarily drug induced).
  • Guy smashes Hare on the head with the access panel door from the elevator and knocks him out. Later Hare recovers and the two fight in the elevator. Hare elbows Guy in the gut and then on the nose. Guy then ducks as Hare punches the wall and then kicks Hare in the face and grabs Hare's gun and hits him on the head with it.
  • Later, Hare grabs Guy (who's got his gun) and they struggle. It fires several times and then it's seen that Dr. Myrick was hit (with lots of blood spilling onto the floor) and he dies.



  • Reviewed September 27, 1996

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

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