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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Retro Review: Medicine Man (1992)

Medicine Man
1992
Cast: Sean Connery, Lorraine Braco, Jose Wilker, Jose Lavat
Genre: Adventure Drama
U.S Box Office Gross: over $45 million

Plot: In the beautiful and dangerous Amazon rainforest dissimilar people must make their choice between business, science and love 






'No Spoonful Of Sugar Could Make This Medicine Go Down'

A Romancing The Stone - type of screwball romance, Medicine Man is half the movie the 1984 Robert Zemeckis hit was, and yet has more in common with the fellow animated flick, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, which is also set in a rainforest. & with both films that each have their own faults & where its ideas and plot are unfortunately squandered through its execution.

A grumpy scientist/biochemist, Dr Robert Campbell, who works for a pharmaceutical company, and an equally aggravating research assistant in Dr Rae Crane have to help one another out to reproduce a cure for cancer. He also has to contend with some developers who are out to destroy the Amazonian rainforest.

Braco's constant nagging and mock Brooklyn accent may wind people up, although both she and Sean Connery seem to connect with each other, due to their characters' contrasting personalities as they embark on their quest to re-discover the cure. Yet Die Hard's John McTiernan drops the action aspect of his flicks, in favour of a more dramatic presence; however, it's just not emphatic as I'd like it to be and the charismatic and in-yer-face turns by Connery and Braco are what makes Medicine Man a tad watchable. Sporting longer hair and a ponytail, Connery is his typical self, exuding his onscreen charm and personality whilst the odd amusing quips and one-liners are a few and okay, whereas his female counterpart, Braco's turn can become wearisome and not so charming role as the stereotyped hapless woman. Lorraine Braco, who interestingly enough turned down the Catwoman role in Tim Burton's Batman Returns - which went to Michelle Pfieffer- in favour of this offering, was nominated for a Razzie award for Medicine Man.

The race-against-the clock to find that magical cure plot, however, is executed flimsily and lacks urgency, which is something it needed to ramp up the entertainment and interest. The dialogue fails to engage and hook me in. The action is also lacking and so deficient, I expect some of that from John McTiernan of Die Hard and Predator fame; sadly, however, it just didn't materialise. 

McTiernan substitutes the action with the sparring love/hate,-or be it hate/hate relationship of the two main characters, of whom audiences may, or will grow tired of and the screenplay by Dead Poet Society's Tom Schulman is a disappointment, given that the former was a more successful hit. The romance part of the film doesn't convince and both Sean Connery and Lorraine Braco look ill-judged as the film's potential (and eventual) love interests.

Medicine Man is such an enduring film that looks promising and lovely through its scenery and cinematic shots of the rainforest but has so little to offer in terms of substance, character progression and entertainment. Despite its vast scope, it's just not utilised very and thoroughly well. 





Final Verdict:

If it weren't for the turns given by Lorraine Braco (which is both debatable and not so good) and Sean Connery as their characters and the manner of those turns they gave, Medicine Man, would be much, much worse. And perhaps almost unwatchable also.



Overall:

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