Bringing Out The Dead

"OK"

Bringing Out The Dead Review


One has to wonder if Martin Scorsese's worldview stops at the New Jersey state line.

A shocking disappointment, Bringing Out the Dead marks Scorsese's first film since Kundun, and his first contemporary movie since Casino. So neither of these took place in New York, but Scorsese is so in love with his hometown, it shows through in all his work. Dead actually begins with the title card, "This film takes place in New York City" (or something close to that), just so there's no confusion.

Confusion about where you are? Impossible. Dead is little more than a series of only-in-NYC horror stories about New York paramedic Frank Pierce (Cage), a burnt-out ambulance driver who's slowly going crazy, and who thinks he sees the spirits of the people whose lives he didn't save. His partners are all nuts (Goodman, Rhames, and Sizemore - who together save this picture from the dustbin), and he finds himself inexplicably attracted to Mary (Arquette), the daughter of a patient whom he inexplicably revives.

In fact, inexplicable is an apt word for most of Bringing Out the Dead. Despite a promising concept (get inside the head of a wacked-out paramedic), it's one blown opportunity after another. (See Pushing Tin for another film with the same problem.) Instead of good writing, the story meanders interminably, relying on a hip soundtrack and cute camera tricks to propel the plot. Frank's obsession with the deceased Rose is baffling, yet it drives most of the action.

Bringing Out the Dead is based on the novel of the same name, and indeed, it feels like the novel has been adapted in full for the screen, with long, dull voice-over monologues, surreal dream sequences, quirky supporting cast members, and go-nowhere subplots. This is not an effective way to make a film. Scorsese obsessives will love it. The rest of the world will not.

Kudos to Ving Rhames as the best of Cage's partners, a character best described as John Shaft meets Jimmy Swaggart. He'll be on my short list for Best Supporting Actor, even if he did only have five minutes of screen time.

Let the healing begin.



Bringing Out The Dead

Facts and Figures

Run time: 121 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd October 1999

Budget: $32M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, De Fina-Cappa

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Fresh: 75 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Frank Pierce, as Mary Burke, as Larry Verber, as Marcus, as Tom Wolls, as Noel, as Constance, as Cy Coates, Cynthia Roman as Rose, as Kanita, as Nurse Crupp, as Cokehead, as Captain Barney, as Dispatcher (Voice), as Dispatcher Love (Voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.