Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1996. Castle Rock Entertainment, Simian Films. Screenplay by Tony Gilroy, based on the book by Michael Palmer. Cinematography by John Bailey. Produced by Elizabeth Hurley. Music by Danny Elfman. Production Design by Doug Kraner. Costume Design by Susan Lyall. Film Editing by Rick Shaine. Toronto International Film Festival 1996.
This unusual thriller starts off murky and interesting but ends up boiling down to the usual typical Hollywood conclusion, complete with countless red herrings and a doubt-free ending. Hugh Grant plays an ER doctor who examines a homeless man in the hospital one night and finds his symptoms so bizarre that they are worth further investigation. His trail eventually leads him to the doorstep of a highly respected surgeon (Gene Hackman) who is quite possibly performing unethical medical experiments on the city’s homeless in an effort to treat an incurable disease. Sarah Jessica Parker plays a colleague of Grant’s who assists in investigating the mystery. Grant does an able job of breaking free from the typical bumbling Englishmen that he was stuck playing at the time, but both he and producer Elizabeth Hurley should have pushed for a more original script. Still, you could do a lot worse if you’re looking for something to occupy a lazy night in.