John Q

There's fast food edibles and there's fast food movies (aka studio message movies, studio action movies, pop star vehicles, teen slasher comedies, etc, etc…). John Q happens to be o­ne of the above (as in s.m.m). I'll state my case: The message: The American medical insurance system (H.M.O.) denies the working class man (John Q. Public) access to necessary medical procedures. Plot: The little guy (John Q. Archibald, make that Denzel Washington) is blocked in his attempts to secure a heart transplant operation for his son. Resort to desperate measures by holding hostages in the hospital. Get a cheering crowd gathering outside (shades of Dog Day Afternoon) rooting for the working class hero. Get the adversarial good cop (Robert Duvall), bad cop (Ray Liotta) routine happening. Advance the storyline with shameless clichés: corporate meany (Anne Heche), monied elite cardiologist (James Woods), and frenzied, but understanding Christian wife (Kimberly Elise), plus perfect, cute kid (Daniel E. Smith). Conclusion: The little guy wins out (the gun helped).

It's hard to believe that Nick Cassavetes is the director of this heavy-handed melodramatic pap, after all his dad was John Cassavetes, the godfather of indie cinema…

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