Extreme Measures

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant), an emergency room physician, is troubled by a peculiar case in this medical thriller. A homeless man is brought in suffering from severe body spasms and incomprehensible symptoms. He exchanges some information with Luthan and then dies. A lab report on the man's condition is equally bizarre, but Luthan gets a call from the coroner's office saying the patient died from an ordinary condition. Luthan can't accept that and tries to investigate, feeling he may have done something wrong. Then things get really strange - the coroner has no record of the body and says he never called. Cocaine is planted in Luthan's apartment, and he's arrested and thrown off the hospital staff. With nowhere else to turn, Luthan follows his only clue - a name the homeless man gave him. It leads to a community in the bowels of the city, where he discovers something ghastly is going on. Best known for his comedies, Grant does a fine job with this dramatic part, and still displays some wonderfully dry wit. Co-star Gene Hackman, as an award-winning neurologist, is in the background most of the time but eventually plays a crucial role. Viewers will figure out the secrets long before Luthan, but will still be on the edge of their seats with the danger the doctor experiences.

Those perils include some violent scenes, as an FBI agent and a cop with questionable ties track Luthan's every move. Several men are shot, some of them fatally. The cop gets his foot caught in the subway track and is killed by an oncoming train, although the actual impact is not shown. Another man is electrocuted on the electric rail. In the emergency room we see gory wounds, one with spurting blood. As the film opens, two homeless men are fleeing from unknown danger totally naked. Shadows cover up their private parts, but there is some rear nudity. Although there is no sexual content, the film has incessant foul language, including 45 obscenities and nearly a dozen regular profanities. The plot revolves around medical ethics, and some strong moral statements are made by its conclusion. But EXTREME MEASURES would have been more palatable with less of the gory violence and foul language.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232]

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 6, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (45) times - S-word 23, f-word 22

Profanity: Many (19) times - Regular 11 (J 5, GD 3, JC 3, for God's sake 1, for Christ's sake 2), Exclamatory 5

Violence: Several times, moderate and severe (gunfire, gunshot wounds, spurting blood from wound, men shot and killed, violent fistfights and struggles, man hit by train [implied], man electrocuted, man hit with bat)

Sex: None

Nudity: Rear male nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Questionable medical ethics; corrupt policemen

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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