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Overall Rating
2.69

Awesome: 7.69%
Worth A Look: 23.08%
Average: 7.69%
Pretty Bad53.85%
Total Crap: 7.69%

1 review, 7 user ratings


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Article 99
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by Chef ADogg

"'Animal House' in a hospital. And not funny."
2 stars

"Article 99" can't decide if it's aiming towards heartwarming sentiment or gritty realism, and ends up plopped down smack in the center of a cinematic wasteland. Pitiful.

I wanted to like this movie, sort of. I mean, Liotta's in it, and I always want to say any movie he's in is good. But that happens about as often as Rosie O'Donnell passes on seconds, so it wasn't really a fully formed wish.

The movie starts off with some sappy music, and a guy looking over his war medals, and the guy telling his wife Uncle Sam will treat him well, and then some more sappy music plays while he drives his pickup off the farm and heads out to the veteran's hospital, where he's hoping to get some kind of bypass surgery.

The guy walks into the hospital and is confronted by a huge crowd of veterans all waiting to get their treatment. Keith David shows up as the black, rock n roll veteran who wears leather and dispenses advice from his wheelchair.

Then some guy goes crazy and starts shooting a gun. And the movie goes straight to hell.

You watch the beginning, you think you know what to expect, and then you're jolted out of your stupor by a big trucker with a semi automatic weapon. And then the elevator stops, you hear the cables going *whoosh*, and there you are back in the land of sappy music and leaves blowing atmospherically in the wind.

Ray Liotta plays a crazy doctor who drives this movie when it tries to be hard hitting. He's the rebel, rock n roll doctor who speaks his mind and tries to help his patients. He is compassionate. Yay Liotta.

John Mahoney plays the director of the hospital, who is callous and cold hearted and cares not for the patients. He just wants to make a buck. Or save a buck. Or something financially related. Doesn't really matter--the end result is the audience yelling "Boo Mahoney!"

Kiefer Sutherland also shows up, as a young intern who everybody hates because he wants to be successful later in life. He spends most of his screen time comforting Eli Wallach, who is about to die, and flirting with Lea Thompson, aka Caroline in the Hospital.

There's another doctor who Liotta flirts with, and they have a relationship that pokes into the movie here and there. It's not really fully formed, like most of the other ingredients in this film. At times, it feels like huge chunks of celluloid have been chopped off to shorten the running time and make this claptrap bearable.

The director, Howard Deutch, can't really decide on a style and so he makes everything jumpy and caffeinated. It's supposed to whiz you right along, and the technique might have worked if there were any texture to be found.

"Article 99" falters consistently throughout its 99 minutes, mostly thanks to an awful script. There are a few zingers, but for the most part it's just bad one liners and hokey speeches. Everybody has a speech in this movie--there are very few actual lines of dialogue.

Just lots of speeches. John McGinley gets like three speeches, and he only has a few scenes. Sheesh.

"Article 99" isn't bad enough for one star, but don't let that fool you into watching it. It's plenty bad. It's corny and it's hokey and you've seen it a million times before. Liotta sleepwalks, as do most of the other actors. The cinematography is good, but worthless in the long run, as Deutch can't build a scene.

It's a sitcom. But really long.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3090&reviewer=123
originally posted: 11/04/99 10:34:48
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User Comments

7/14/10 PAUL SHORTT HYSTERICAL AND ONE-DIMENSIONAL 2 stars
6/25/04 Hugh Cox A superb and creative commentary on the "real" VA 5 stars
10/05/03 EDWARD GRAGER VIETNAM VET YOU MISSED THE REAL POINT OF THE MOVIE. I TAKE IT YOU NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH THE VA 4 stars
4/05/03 Jack Sommersby A one-sided take on complex problems. A myopic Lefty social commentary. 1 stars
3/31/02 Mike Loew Loved it-"Thought it a great sleeper" 4 stars
2/08/01 Bruce Callahan Good hospital flick 4 stars
9/14/00 Steve C. ROBBIE FAIRLY GOOD MOVIE 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Mar-1992 (R)

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