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john20q-03If not for Denzel Washington’s charismatic performance John Q wouldn’t even cut it as a TV movie of the week. Bombastic, predictable and utterly unbelievable, the story of a man who takes a hospital hostage to get his son’s name on a heart transplant list, has its priorities skewed. The hospital officials, the doctors and the police are the bad guys, while the guy who waves around a gun, kidnaps an emergency room full of people and generally makes a nuisance of himself is hailed as a hero. He does it for the love of his son, so I guess that is supposed to make everything OK. James Woods and Robert Duvall do some grade “A” scenery chewing and seem to be having a good time despite the lousy dialogue. Ray Liotta, on a bit of a career comeback these days overacts his way through his scenes, while Anne Heche seems to be almost completely without any emotion whatsoever.

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