Release: 1998, Sony Starring: Michael Keaton, Andy Garcia Director: Barbet Schroeder MPAA Rating: [R] violence, language Genre: Action/Drama
Police officer Frank Connor's (Garcia) ill son is in need of a bone marrow donor. When the only potential match turns out to be serial murderer Peter McCabe (Keaton), the convict is transported to the hospital where the little boy is dying. McCabe uses the opportunity to escape, and the race is on to catch him before it is too late, without killing him.
Keaton is viciously good as serial killer Peter McCabe. For someone who's played Mr. Mom and Batman, he's surprisingly adept at sending a chill down your spine. His ominous presence in this film is the highlight of the entire work, which would have scored considerably lower with his absence.
Without Keaton's performance, Desperate Measures is a bland cop-chase-villain action adventure. Garcia doesn't come across as very impressive, mostly due to the dry, stereotypical role he is given. The only element that imbues the character with any life at all is his dilemma of having to apprehend McCabe without killing him, but even that isn't examined deeply enough to make the persona ring true. The movie sets up a great tension as Keaton's McCabe is handled like a ticking bomb, but by the end, you're knee deep in gratuitous violence and forgetting about the kid that needs the transfusion.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (0=Abysmal, 5=Average, 10=Excellent)