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John Q Review

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A father takes a hospital emergency room hostage when evil surgeons refuse his son's heart transplant.

★★★★★

Now that his Best Actor statuette is in place, all eyes will be on Denzel Washington's first post-Oscar release.

But how he keeps a straight face during this absurd tripe is a mystery. Thank God he does though, because his impossibly dignified performance - as a working stiff who takes a hospital emergency room hostage when evil surgeons refuse his son's heart transplant - is the only thing standing between John Q and total ignominy.

The ridiculous premise is compounded by cliched characters (Heche, as a frosty hospital worker, does all but club a baby seal to death to establish what a cold bitch she is). It's a craven rip-off of Dog Day Afternoon and, since the ending is telegraphed in the opening credits, doesn't even cut it as a thriller.

Well-intentioned but crashingly heavy-handed.