Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) is a drug addicted lawyer, who some how manages, while handling multiple personal injury lawsuits with his coworker Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen). Eventually they stumble upon case of where a lady is suing a hospital she works for b/c the needles she used on a patient gave her AIDs. In turn they learn about a no poke needle the hospital could have used and pull the case up against congress on how it’s infringing on anti-trade laws, or some such thing. In the mean time they get worn out due to hospital visits by Danziger’s wife, who’s pregnant, and Weiss who’s trying to get himself clean in order to push bills through Congress in order to let hospitals void their exclusive purchasers contract. After a while most things just smolder under their efforts to help people have cleaner needless.
This, sadly enough, is based on a true story. It’s also one of the FEWER that is more true to the story then most movies that “base” themselves off something. This is a good movie if you tire of the hippies complaining about ‘corporations’ but don’t ever really display any evidence. It shows how, in the background, despite the face the wondrous US government puts on, there are still backdoor deals going on between pharmaceuticals and various political parties that put their own needs before the nation(s). It’s a truly overwhelmingly depressing concept, if you can grasp it all from watching this movie, that one little thing like clean needles can save billions of lives.
This mellow drama story is fantastic, but the delivery is dry because most of it is a court room drama and most of the characters aren’t too interesting. That being said they probably aren’t interesting due to the fact that they are based off real people. Most real people aren’t over the top. It’s just irritating to run into one stuffy lawyer character, into another, then into a stuffy political senator, especially when they state stupid things that defy simple logic, which the LAWS they are suppose to know are based upon.
Like one lawyer crys over the billion dollar stipend the US govt forced on the tobacco companies basically saying it didn’t do ‘any good’ and that it didn’t stop people from smoking. This is where laws and governmental jurisdiction end and that pesky thing called free-will happens. It doesn’t matter if the govt taxes them trillions, people will still smoke if they want to and those who don’t won’t. Just because the all-mighty gooberment said these people were naughty doesn’t mean it’s citizens will listen, nor care (see Vietnam). Then he uses that weak logic for giving up trying to be a better ethical lawyer and basically goes after whoever gives him the biggest checks. Clearly the man doesn’t have any gasp on the concept: damage control. YES, people will still smoke, but due to some of the courts hoopla some WILL stop or simply not start to being with.
Also the comparison between the cigarette laws and the health code laws wasn’t a sound argument. Cigarette usage is a option. Using needles to deliver medicine to the bloodstream is the fastest easiest method. It, most of the time, ISN’T optional, considering many might die if they don’t. So what was his logic for not helping Weiss? Did he think that if people switch needles they’d stop dying from AIDs?
Then Weiss is a strange character all together for Evans to play. He does HEAPS of drugs, loses track of time, shows symptoms of addiction, for years and seems to get up each day and walk into work completely fine. Then all of a sudden it strikes and he winds up in the hospital with a laundry list of things wrong with him from arterial wall weakness to cysts. I guess this is just how some peoples biological factories (i.e. their body) work differently. Some twitch forever while on drugs, while others learn to deal.
Evans performance in this was decent and did outshine most of the cast, but it wasn’t stellar. For the most part it was a growth film for most involved, seeing as they were standard or had such a side part it almost wasn’t even noticable. However some exception is made to Marshall Bell and Michael Biehn. It’s good to still seem them in showbiz. Toward the end Evans picks up and shows a decent amount of anguish when going through withdrawal symptoms and a good argument segment with Mark Kassen in the car. The random whistle blower at the end is so standard it’s almost cliché. He comes out of nowhere with ground breaking evidence that would smash any in courtroom case, but the delivery is so weak considering most could figure out what was happening before he showed up that it was only adding almost a redundancy to the painful realizations of how big the case was. Either it needed to be beefed up some or something added to it, because the character was forgettable.
For the most part the film is a decent one shot and it is worth watching once. However the ending leaves you a little bitter, considering what happens to Weiss remains a mystery, and the real ending to the court case ends on a slight fizzle due to the fact that it’s displayed in a paragraph of text.
IMDB – 6.8 – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1582248/