‘John Q’ (2002) Movie Review and Ending, Explained – Have an optimistic attitude and a strong heart. That is the lesson from the 2002 medical thriller kidnapping film ‘John Q.’ at the end of the crisis. The story is given a sombre urgency by actor-director Nick Cassavetes. What starts out as a simple hostage situation quickly escalates into a national humanitarian crisis.
The plot follows John Q, who holds multiple hostages in Hope Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, praying for a miracle. He requests a heart for his son, which appears absurd to law enforcement and hospital officials at first. Denzel Washington leads a cast that is sentimental, passionate, and reactionary in this film. However, the movie leaves the audience with various thoughts.
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‘John Q’ (2002) Movie Plot Synopsis
With his wife Denise and son Michael, John Quincy Archibald leads a generally fulfilled lower-middle-class life. He is an ideal parent and spouse because he always makes the family laugh, even when they are going through a difficult period. To their dismay, John and Denise go to Michael’s school baseball game, but Michael collapses on the ground during a run.
Michael is sent to Hope Memorial Hospital. Following preliminary examinations, the physicians admit Michael to an intensive care unit, while John and Denise speak with the authorities.
The hospital director, Rebecca Payne, informs Michael’s family that he requires a heart transplant. Michael would not be able to live a healthy life without a new heart, despite the fact that there are other ways to extend his life. However, John’s insurance will not cover the treatment, and the hospital will charge a high fee of $75,000 merely to get Michael’s name on the transplant list.
John is hoping for a miracle with his back against the wall. Meanwhile, John takes a bold measure after receiving a distressing call from Denise. He enters the ER with a gun, holding people hostage, and causing a ruckus.
‘John Q’ (2002) Movie Review
The title of Nick Cassavetes’ film John Q makes it apparent that the protagonist, John Q. Archibald (Denzel Washington), is actually John Q. Public, the All-American Everyman. The film is about a blue-collar worker who cracks under the strains of the current crisis, and its immediate aesthetic inspiration, one assumes, is Michael Douglas’ explosive film Falling Down, about a white-collar worker who goes insane under the strains of the times.
As if to bolster this notion, Robert Duvall plays the same character in both films. John Q is a hardworking, cash-strapped Chicago-area engineering craftsman who is unexpectedly faced with a cherished 10-year-old kid who would die without a heart transplant. The problem is that the hospital requires a 30% deposit on the $230,000 procedure charge, and John Q’s employers have moved to a cheaper insurance programme without telling him because he’s on temporary leave. His maximum benefit has been set at $20,000.
The first half-hour or so is compelling and a useful source of fury at the system’s injustice, as John Q and his badgering wife do everything they can to raise the money. Then John Q blows out and takes over the hospital’s ER section during a weekend slowdown, holding the chief cardiologist (James Woods), a handful of interns, and a slew of colourful patients as hostages.
A siege ensues, with a sympathetic hostage negotiator (Robert Duvall) clashing with a callous, politically motivated police commander (Ray Liotta). With time for debates about the inequity of medical provisions, the film evolves into a decent enough action film. But it quickly devolves into unbelievable melodrama and sentimental bathos.
Denzel Washington reverts to his saintly mode after his evil vice officer in Training Day, for which he earned an Oscar, and the film, in typical Hollywood manner, loses sight of the crucial issues of politics and principle it initially raises.
John Q Ending Explained
Michael has a heart that is about three times larger than typical, which produces pulmonary edoema, as Dr. Raymond Turner tells John and Denise in a conference. Because Michael’s heart isn’t purifying enough blood, it gets caught in the back of his lungs like a sponge. Cardiomegaly refers to an enlarged heart in medical jargon.
Heart enlargement may be induced by another health problem rather than being a disorder in and of itself. Patients with cardiomegaly may be able to live with drugs, but Michael’s heart is about three times the size of the typical, necessitating surgery.
However, as instructed by Health Maintenance Organizations, replacement operations are optional (HMOs). As a result, even though Michael may die without a decent heart, the surgery is ruled elective. Furthermore, because it is an optional operation, it is not covered by insurance.
Furthermore, these procedures are invasive, and an incorrect match could result in death. As a result, the hospital has a policy of only accepting cash payments from individuals undergoing such treatments. Because of the financial difficulties, John feels obligated to abduct the doctor.
Whose Heart Is It That Michael Gets in the ‘John Q’ Movie?
When all else fails, John is resolute on ending his life in order to save his son. Despite the fact that he is not an expert on the subject, he is aware that he shares the same blood group as his kid — B+. John claims that his tissues are the same as Michael’s. As a result, John has requested that Dr. Raymond Turner undertake the procedure and donate his heart to his son. Although the hostages are in a state of partial astonishment and wonder, John is more concerned with Michael’s recuperation than with his own survival.
Dr. Turner accepts John’s offer to conduct the procedure, despite his initial scepticism. To prevent legal difficulties, John will need two witnesses. Julie and Max, a security guard, arrive to save the day. In the Emergency Room, he bids Michael farewell while imparting some important life lessons. John unhooks the rifle and reveals that he only has one bullet. With the one-shot, John plays Russian Roulette with himself on an emergency bed.
Doctors at another institution, on the other hand, discover a functional heart that originally belonged to the woman who died in the early vehicle crash, credited only as “Beautiful BMW Driver.” Payne sends the fax to the hospital doctor, who hurries to tell John the good news. Rebecca, on the other hand, contacts Denise to inform her that they have a heart. Denise dials John’s number, who is on the verge of committing suicide. Denise’s call is terminated by John, but the doctor gets the message to the ER.
As a result, John releases the hostages while remaining at Michael’s surgery. The surgery goes well with Dr. Turner in charge of the scissors and scalpels. Meanwhile, Lester Matthews, a good man, acts in for John and smiles his way to the police station. All save Grimes are unconcerned by the incident, and Grimes confronts John with handcuffs outside the operating room.
What is Going to Happen to John at the End of the Movie?
While Michael is alive, the hostage incident sends shockwaves across the country, with public opinion leaning with John. Rather than blaming John, many are questioning the broken healthcare system. Above all, the story vividly depicts how 40 million Americans (as of 2009) do not have health insurance, as John’s desperation exemplifies.
Nas, the famed rapper, even shows out to offer his support for the cause. With all of the public support and a police blunder (which could kill John), he cannot possibly face a life sentence. Lt. Frank Grimes leads John to the courtroom in the last scenes of the film.
Because his gun had no ammunition and he tossed the sniper’s gun away on public display, the jury finds John not guilty of attempted murder and armed criminal action. John, on the other hand, has been convicted of kidnapping and false detention and faces a term of three to five years in prison.
The court adjourns the hearing, and we don’t know what his penalty will be, but John’s lawyer promises him that she will try to negotiate a two-year term. Denise, on the other hand, is affectionate and supportive of John. As the story comes to a close, we might assume that John has finally performed a miracle.
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