A promising start for Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley's Simian Films. Grant's a junior doctor in the A&E department of a NY teaching hospital who's intrigued by the perplexing symptoms of a fatally disturbed mystery patient. The disappearance of the body spurs him to dig deeper into the case. With nurse Parker on hand to lend support and romantic involvement, Grant doesn't realise he's getting into dark conspiratorial waters, which will threaten his life and livelihood, implicate revered neurologist Hackman, and take him to parts of the city he didn't even know existed. Grant has just the right amount of offhand decency to sustain the film's moralising impetus and bring an emotional relevance to its spiralling plot reversals. Perhaps screenwriter Tony Gilroy's adaptation of Michael Palmer's novel slightly labours the discussion of medical ethics, but Hackman's involving performance, as the researcher bending the rules in the treatment of spinal injuries, never leaves the arguments cut and dried. An effective crowd-pleaser which never goes dumb on you.
Cast and crew
Sarah Jessica Parker