PUNCTURE has adapted the true story of Mike Weiss, a drug addict lawyer who stumbles onto a case about a nurse who contracted HIV/AIDS from a needle prick whilst on shift. In delving into the case he uncovers a ‘safety needle’ a rogue engineer has designed but hospital suppliers won’t stock due to corporate monopolies and their stranglehold over the American medical supply system. Pretty meaty stuff huh? It really is on paper – but what winds up on film is almost the exact opposite. Adam & Mark Kassen, who wrote and directed the film, have told this story like a John Grisham-lite movie mixed with wannabe gritty hard case drug story – and herein lies its biggest problem – the film can’t decide what it wants to be.
Chris Evans is solid, if one note, as Mike – and in between the heroin hits and cocaine bumps, he’s a really high functioning junkie. But just as you get meaty plot points, you’re segued with long sequences of him taking drugs or talking to hookers on the phone etc and I guess these scenes are to differentiate this from an extended LAW & ORDER episode. All the ‘bad guys’ are smarmy talking lawyers and of course our heroes are broke and the ever threatening ‘we’re out of cash’ that was so effectively spelt out in A CIVIL ACTION is back on display here.
As a role to diversify himself Evans was right to run with this one – it just needed a tighter screenplay and a defter directorial hand to really set it apart from every other legal drama out there.
PUNCTURE releases on BLU-RAY, DVD and DOWNLOAD on FEBRUARY 29, 2012 in AUSTRALIA