Director: Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen
Writer: Chris Lopata
Cast: Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, Marshall Bell, Brett Cullen, Jesse L. Martin, Vinessa Shaw, Roxanna Hope Radja, Michael Biehn, Kate Burton
Seen on: 14.8.2016
Mike (Chris Evans) and Paul (Mark Kassen) have a law firm together, but their lives are looking very different: while Paul is a settled family man, Mike loves nothing more than to party – with drugs. They meet nurse Vicky (Vinessa Shaw) who contracted HIV/Aids froma patient by way of a needle he stabbed her with, and who introduces them to a safety needle that would make infections like hers impossible but that the hospitals refuse to buy. They know that somebody has to fight on her side. But suing the company who runs the hospitals in the area is a huge undertaking and who knows whether they’ll be able to keep up with it.
Puncture tells a big story, but unfortunately it tells it in such a boring way that I could barely make myself pay attention. Despite Chris Evans in suspenders (and often without a shirt), which is really saying something.
I enjoy films about the brave few fighting evil corporations like the next person. I think those are important stories, especially when they remind us that not everything can be dealt with according to corporate/financial logic. And the case that Puncture tackles – a real life case – is a prime example of just that.
But the film never really takes off. I think that’s because it didn’t find the right angle to tell its story. The affected people are mostly nurses (who are mostly women, often women of color) and other health care professionals, but the film focuses on the lawyers, two white dudes. And yes, Mike’s drug addiction is tragic, but it doesn’t make me admire him more that he fought for this case despite his addiction. It just makes me think that he should have gotten help but he didn’t (for many different reasons).
Chris Evans isn’t bad in the role and since the movie is so focused on Mike, he has to be for it to work even half decently. But it’s a fact that for me, watching drug addicts, especially when they’re on cocaine, is mostly exhausting and not very engaging (in films. It’s a different matter when it’s in real life).
So they lose the story in favor of Mike but Mike is not enough to make the film interesting. That leaves us with a film that’s not really bad, but not really good either. Mostly it’s just boring and a little tiring.