Reviewed by: Ken James
If by murdering one person you could cure a life-shattering malady that inflicts millions worldwide, would you do it? “Extreme Measures” poses this moral dilemma.
Dr. Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant) is a promising young physician practicing medicine at a central New York City hospital. He has a bright future, with a new internship awaiting him at New York University. He believes his life is nearly perfect …until it comes crashing down through a rapid change of events.
The bizarre death of a homeless man while under his care causes the good doctor to probe for answers in finding the cause of this death. But the body disappears, and many attempts are made by others in an attempt to turn him away from his search for the truth.
Guy unintentionally becomes involved in a deadly game with both the FBI and the sinister, yet humanitarian work of Dr. Lawrence Myrick (Gene Hackman), one of the country’s most respected medical figures. Dr. Myrick believes he can cure paralysis by growing new nerves around victims' vertebrae. However, his zealous pursuit of the cure leads him to experiment on healthy homeless people, whom he incorrectly assumes will not be missed after they “disappear.”
The Bible clearly states that God created mankind in His own image, male and female, rich and poor. We are all of equal value in the eyes of our Creator. Therefore, the taking of any human life in this fashion is murder. Although Dr. Myrick’s goal to cure a world wide plague is commendable, his methods are beyond moral. Through his warped sense of values, Myrick plays God, believing it is his right to take life that is “meaningless” if it is to cure disease.
This medical-thriller possesses an intriguing plot, coupled with enjoyable and exciting action. Unfortunately, profanity is not rare. Also, the movie opens with a scene of two naked men running through the streets of New York City at night. The nudity, which is mostly backside and non-sexual, captures the attention in a unique way, and certainly causes the viewer to feel sorry for these two men who are being exploited by the medical profession.
While “Extreme Measures” was enjoyable to watch, there seemed to be something lacking that could make it a “great” movie. Instead, the movie settles with average. Hugh Grant is a likable character, and does well with this new role in a “thriller.” While “Extreme Measures” is an appropriate name, it is not memorable and seems awkward somehow with the story of this film. Another more memorable name would have been more appropriate.