Desperate Measures [1998]

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

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