PUNCTURE is an apt title for this movie, a true story that pokes a hole in the corporate and governmental greed that endangers public health, and a story about the lawyer who despite poking holes in his veins as a drug addict brought to the attention of the public a safety problem of overwhelming significance. It is tautly written by Paul Danziger (a character in the story), Ela Their and Chris Lopata and directed by Adam and Mark Kassen. It is an important film for public viewing and knowledge and awareness.
Opening this true story with a young nurse mother Vicky Rogers (Vinessa Shaw) departing for work at the hospital we witness her accidental stabbing herself with a needle while trying to calm a boisterous patient. Fast forward a few years later and we meet two law partners - Mike Weiss (Chris Evans, brilliant in a demanding role and boasting one of the most impressive physiques in cinema!) and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen) - both seemingly committed to idealistic cases but bogged down in the routine accident settlement cases to make a living. Enter Vicky Rogers, now with full blown AIDS she contracted form the needle puncture we observed and asking Mike and Paul to take on a case of making the hospitals across the country aware of a retractable safety needle invented by engineer Jeffrey Matthew Dancort (Marshall Bell), who owns the Safety Point Company, but is unable to sell his product to any hospital from the United Medical group, apart from San Antonio Memorial. Mike and Paul are committed to Vicky and the cause and take the case on, only to be blindsided by hospital purchasing agents who want to save the hospital money and not buy the slightly more expensive safety needle. As the young men take on the horrors of the case they encounter the powerhouse lawyer Nathaniel Price (Brett Cullen) who represents the stonewall of United Medical. The money in the office of the young lawyers runs out and Paul wants to pass the case on to another law group, but Mike wants to keep the case, gathers mountains of evidence to prove that hospitals and supply companies are preventing the distribution and sales of the safety needle. He even gains the support of Senator O'Reilly (Kate Burton) until she withdraws her support as United Medical makes a huge contribution to her campaign!
Complicating the tense story is the fact that Mike is addicted to cocaine, pain pills and heroin and his addiction is constantly resulting in his being late and missing deadlines. At the point where Mike decides to give in despite his idealistic motives to win the case the story ends with a staggering reality. The results of the story are given on the screen before the credits role.
This is a very strong story, well directed an written, and in many ways due to the bravura performance of Chris Evans drives home some realities we all need to acknowledge: money and greed speak louder than patient and hospital staff safety. Food for thought.