Sunday, September 25, 2011

Movie with Abe: Puncture (Capsule Review)

Directed by Adam & Mark Kassen
Released September 23, 2011

In the new drama "Puncture," Chris Evans, who recently starred in the lead role in "Captain America: The First Avenger" after memorable parts in films like "The Losers," "Cellular," and "Fantastic Four," bursts onto the scene as Mike Weiss, a drug-addicted young hotshot attorney who spends his nights in a motel room having his fellow drug user friends pretend to be witnesses as he skewers them with his legal savvy. Evans is an able actor for the part, but the film isn't as clear on what kind of character it wants Weiss to be, imbuing him with this impossible determination to seek out justice while regularly showing him compromising his moral stance on other subjects, such as loyalty to his partner and his obvious regular breaking of the law with his drug use.

The subject of safety needles, designed to prevent frequently-occurring accidental sticks, being distributed to hospitals all around the country, is certainly an intriguing and compelling one, but the film often focuses too much on its own characters rather than its more sweeping themes. The film is strongest when it transforms from a dense downer about individual people into a grander legal drama about a budding class-action suit. The legal content does become a bit much at times, especially when aired in dialogue by an admittedly excellent Brett Cullen as Weiss' opposing counsel, Nathaniel Price, whose haughtiness runs the gamut from delicious scenery-chewering to off-putting smugness. Ultimately, "Puncture" loses steam midway through and never delivers on its genuinely interesting premise.


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