Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #317 John Q.

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Movie #317 John Q.

(2002, US, d. Nick Cassavetes)

It’s from the director of The Notebook. I mean “C’mon! How much legitimate action and honest thrill did you expect?” First off, I have to admit Denzel Washington rises far above the material he is presented with here. One of the finest actors working today, Washington takes the sentimental BS he is given here and forms his own – actually realistic – character here. It is the perfect mix of Michael Douglas’ character in Falling Down with the everyday American father. Washington taps into that mentality with wonderful ease and incredible talent. For that alone, the movie should be commended. But apart from that really, John Q. is probably one of the most melodramatic, overly sentimental, and tap-you-over-the-head-so-many-times-with-the-moral-it-feels-like-a-Christian-movie sort of films. Sure it has its moments where you want to cheer for John Q, the father of a sick child who must hold a hospital at gunpoint in order for someone to give his kid a heart. Hell, even the log line has incredible potential. That sounds like a film I would love watching. But at the end of the day, despite its promise, John Q. falls into the terrible trap of being terribly written, manipulative, and a tear-jerker in all the wrong places. Plus the ending is completely whack. If you’re an emotional filmgoer, there’s nothing I say that will change your mind, but c’mon. I was talking to a friend today about the need to think with your head and not with your heart (because the latter is a liar sometimes). Use your mind and you’ll be turned off by this picture.

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