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EXTREME MEASURES

SYNOPSIS:
When a homeless man wearing a mysterious hospital wristband dies from bizarre symptoms in one of New York Cityís busiest emergency rooms, no one takes much notice except Dr Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant), the attending physician that night. Luthan is baffled by the bizarre symptoms - and the bodyís disappearance. At first merely suspicious, he begins to see signs of a conspiracy that include his boss at the hospital. Before he can get any further, he is implicated in a drug bust and stripped of his career. Luthan is now desperate and determined to find out more, even though his life is threatened as his investigation unearths the shocking details of a private medical research programme that centres around one of the countryís most revered medical figures - Dr Lawrence Myrick (Gene Hackman). In a dangerous and emotional climax, Luthan get to confront Myrick and hear the manís passionate and well intentioned rationale for his gruesome work.

"A genuine suspense thriller and one with a morality question, Extreme Measures combines an intelligent script with careful and caring execution to deliver first class entertainment. Hugh Grant remakes himself - almost completely - in a serious role that suits him well, and Gene Hackman comes up with the goods in a character that he has studied before: the well intentioned idealist gone wrong. The subject material is strong enough for the suspense to be justified, and it is presented clearly, but without condescension. There is also evidence of much preparation to bring credibility to every scene, and the pacing is excellent. I do have one big quibble and itís to do with the ending. Since I donít want to give that away, I canít tell you my quibble - except to say it should be one gunshot less, and therefore not quite so pat dramatically. More importantly, Iím not keen on guns resolving complex issues in movies. What do you think?"
Andrew L. Urban

"A thought provoking thriller with solid script and excellent lead performances: in what is no doubt a clever career move which will solidify his credibility, Hugh Grant is terrifically convincing as the ethical medico with curiosity. The ease with which Grant makes himself comfortable in this genre, following his successful romantic leads, will certainly make many sit up and take notice. It is a scintillating plot with unexpected turns, which in the end make us review in our own minds the moral issue concerned. Gene Hackman, as usual, gives an impeccable performance, bringing with him his craft and reputation to the role of Dr Myrick. There is a chill about the slow revelation of the god-like aspirations that are being explored, and the inclusion of the personal reason for involvement for the various characters adds to our understanding of the action of the characters. None are black or white. All of the characters have valid reasons and motivations - even though at times misguided - for their actions. The pulsating rhythms of New York add a certain frenzy to the action, and the suspenseful music score by Danny Elfman highlights the tension and angst."
Louise Keller

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Sarah Jessica Parker


Gene Hackman and Hugh Grant


Hugh Grant remakes himself in a serious role


EXTREME MEASURES
(US)

CAST: Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Morse, Bill Nunn, Debra Monk, Paul Guilfoyle, John Toles-Bey, Shaun Austin-Olsen, Andre De Shields, Peter Appel, Diana Zimmer.

PRODUCER: Elizabeth Hurley

DIRECTOR: Michael Apted

SCRIPT: Tony Gilroy, based on the novel by Michael Palmer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Bailey

EDITOR: Rick Shaine

MUSIC: Danny Elfman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Doug Kraner

RUNNING TIME: 118 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 24, 1997


What do you think - briefly please, say 75 words max: send your comment to:
andrewl@mpx.com.au
OR
louisek@mpx.com.au


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