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Desperate Measures


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Keaton, Andy Garcia, Brian Cox, Marcia Gay Harden, Erik King
  • Directors: Barbet Schroeder
  • Writers: David Klass
  • Producers: Barbet Schroeder, Gary Foster, Jeffrey Chernov, Josie Rosen, Lee Rich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 26, 1998
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767812743
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,600 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Desperate Measures" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia go head to head in this riveting thriller about a cop forced to protect a vicious killer. It's computer and solicit the help of a ruthless killer (Keaton). But when the killer escapes from the prison hospital, leaving scorched bodies in his wake, Frank must endanger innocent people or kill the only man who can save his son.

Amazon.com

Call it "Desperate Movie," because this ludicrous thriller deteriorates into unintentional comedy. For reasons that are never explained, a sociopathic killer (Michael Keaton) is the only available bone marrow donor for the cancer-stricken son of a San Francisco cop (Andy Garcia), who must capture the killer alive after a laughable escape in a labyrinthine hospital. The ensuing manhunt relies on plentiful plot holes and ridiculous shortcuts (like Keaton's use of a surgical laser to cut leg irons, or accessing hospital schematics from a prison computer). Self-consciously shot in film noir style, the cat-and-mouse routine leads to a briefly impressive car chase, but the premise (which even the movie's original press notes described as "intriguing, if unlikely") is based on "moral ambiguity" that doesn't translate from script to screen. Instead of forcing Keaton's typically "sick genius" to prove his ingenuity, the film pits him against a squad of cops who couldn't find a beer in a crowded pub. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

I like the movie, but it was kind of too slow for me..
Lourdes F faura
This film just played out convenient plot points and clichés to try and make its plot work.
Philip Scholz
Michael Keaton does a great job of acting in this role.
M. A. Ramos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Jerome on January 31, 2006
Format: DVD
Michael Keaton puts in another excellent turn as a bad guy. This time he's a multi-murdering felon in a maximum security prison.

Overall, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat to the very end. I agree that the plot is a bit unbelievable, but why should movies be believable anyway. Aren't movies supposed to transport you to another place where reality is temporarily suspended.

Deserves 5 stars for thrills, acting and dark humor.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James Andresen on November 22, 2001
Format: DVD
It's easy to see why DESPERATE MEASURES got bad reviews. The plot might have holes large enough to sail a barge through, and yes, it is quite implausable, but it's hard to completely diss a movie with performances and direction as good as this.
Michael Keaton is eerily menacing as Peter McCabe in this film. He's smart, dangerous, and unpredictable, just like the character requires. Keaton easily does his best work yet as a serious actor. Andy Garcia proves once again that THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD was not a fluke, and that he really is capable of turning in one fine performance after another. While a couple of the supporting performances aren't up to the level they should be, it doesn't pull down the film.
The direction by Barbet Schroeder is brilliant. THe noir style that the film was shot in works extremely well for the type of film this is. His odd camera angles and dark, brooding shots work perfectly with the dark story. The look of the smoke and fire is perfectly shot, and he should commend his cinematographer.
The suspense, however, is what keeps this film kicking. Even though the lack plot tends to drag down a little bit of the film, it's still a guessing game most of the time, and Schroeder knows how to play this up. It's a shame that critics like Leonard Maltin couldn't look past the implausability at the truly excellent moments of the film. After all, they give truly implausable movies like CON AIR good reviews, and this film is FAR more realistic.
DESPERATE MEASURES is a greatly underrated film that deserves a look. It's decently smart and a hell of a lot more entertaining than a lot of the drivel that Hollywood produces nowadays. *cough, Pearl Harbor, cough*
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By george guzman on July 10, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Great movie
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
ONLY MICHEAL KEATON COULD PLAY THE ROLE AS THE MANIACAL VILLIAN IN THIS FILM. SEE HOW HE
MANIPULATE AND MAKE IT BELIEVABLE
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By Philip Scholz on June 11, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I thought that the man who played Batman when everyone thought he'd bomb in the role would be better than this. But in this film, Michael Keaton gives us what can best be described as his attempt at an impression of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector. Unfortunately, Mr. Keaton fails dramatically at this and the movie, which was teetering on the edge of this fate, falls over and becomes nothing more than a action/slasher movie..."psychological thriller" is a term too good to use here. Apart from a supremely underwhelming performance from a man playing a supposedly dangerous, unrelenting, and remorseless killer, this film was above and beyond in terms of plot holes and overused clichés. Seriously, is every unstoppable serial killer a super-genius? There was really no other possible donor? This film just played out convenient plot points and clichés to try and make its plot work. Well, it fails dramatically. If you want to watch this film, you can go right ahead and do so...see what desperate measures the filmmakers went to make this plot and its plot holes work. I do wonder if, like NASA did with Armageddon, doctors are called upon to spot the mistakes in this film. Should be easy enough. Enjoy.
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By Tari Grant on June 8, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Movie was bought as a gift for my Father and Mother for Christmas. I am replacing all his VHS tapes with DVD's They arrived in good condition an on time. Thank you.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
This film was on "free" TV tonight, so I decided to watch it. I believe that I saw it once before, right after it first released back in 1998; you'd think that I would have learned my lesson the first time.

What. . . a. . . crock. And that crock ain't full of butter. This has to be one of the most contrived scenarios ever in film. What? You've got a cop named Frank -- Andy Garcia -- who has a son Matt -- Joseph Cross -- where that son needs a bone marrow transplant, and the only person in the whole wide world is a psychopathic killer -- Michael Keaton -- who's a match. Sure. So we know that both the psycho and the son will have surgery, and you know things will go terribly wrong, and you know that Mr. Keaton's gonna go all Silence-of-the-Lambs (SOTL) all over everybody. "Clarice, and what did you think about while watching this film? How b-a-a-a-a-d it was? Perhaps you should have slaughtered it yourself and saved everyone the misery." Har har.

Talking about SOTL. . . . Obviously, the writer and director "borrowed" from that far superior film here, what with some of the stupid stuff with the Keaton character being a Hannibal Lecter-like dude. But really, if you're going to "borrow" something, why don't you take the best parts while borrowing, not the worst parts? I was laughing out loud in a couple of scenes where I was supposed to be hiding under a blanket, I think.

Well, I think that 1998 was about the same time where Mr. Keaton -- who was in some really funny movies way back when, remember? Like "Night Shift" and the whole "let's feed mayonnaise to the tuna fish!" line? -- and his career decided to take a swan dive. And this film does a horrible belly flop of its own, right into the tank.
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