Bringing Out the Dead movie poster
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Bringing Out the Dead movie poster

Bringing Out the Dead Movie Review

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Nicolas Cage is an ambulance driver on the edge of insanity in Bringing out the Dead, a movie that not only has a deceiving title, it has the most deceiving plots of all: No plot.

If movies have ever been criticized for anything, it has been a lack of plot. Sometimes, the lack of plot is made up in other categories, such as acting, or direction, or screenplay, or entertainment value. Unfortunately, Bringing out the Dead has none of these attributes. Martin Scorsese is a respected director but this movie makes no sense, both on paper and on film. His fast-motion scenes look like crap, his weird colorings only look good for so long, and just the fact that he decided to direct this piece of junk is bad enough. Furthermore, whoever wrote this film must have been on something at the time. Being a medic is a stressful job but this movie can't be realistic at all. Every single medic in the movie is psychotic (having fun flipping ambulances, smashing windows, beating up patients, ignoring calls), including Cage. They drink on the job, try to get high, and do all sorts of stupid things. The dialogue is all but flat and the acting is equally unimpressive. Cage isn't overly bad but every single actor in the film seems to overdo it, but there's really not much they can do with the script anyway.

Even up to this point, though, movies can still have some value if they are entertaining. Bringing out the Dead has no entertainment value whatsoever. The characters are unlikable, the story is out the window, and there is no excitement whatsoever. The movie skips from one "emergency" to the next without stringing anything together, and there is no climatic moment. The most exciting part of the movie is watching the clock on the DVD player click towards the approximated movie time on the box and then screaming when it goes a second passed that time.

This cluttered film could have been something... if it had been completely different. The previews suggest that Cage actually sees ghosts - he sees one once in a while, the same one over and over. The movie never really looks into what happened, and basically, I never cared. This Rose, as Cage called her, has no obvious meaning on the movie, and if it did, it doesn't make up for the huge lack of story. In fact, watching Cage see Rose's face on every person is about as unbearable as it gets.

My brother said that this movie "wasn't what he expected." Of course it wasn't. If a movie has no point, then it cannot be what anyone expected. Unless someone knew before seeing it that Bringing out the Dead is one of the biggest wastes of two hours in the history of the world.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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