Critical Condition (1987)

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Critical Condition: Directed by Michael Apted. With Richard Pryor, Rachel Ticotin, Rubén Blades, Joe Mantegna. Con man Kevin Lennihan, framed in a jewel smuggling, tries for an insanity plea, and is sent to a hospital for review, where he is confused for a doctor and takes over the hospital when a major storm hits.

“Never trust the ratings in here, some say from time to time, cause they never reveal what lies beneath some underrated precious jewels and also some overrated classics. u0026quot;Critical Conditionu0026quot;, however, deserves the current negative evaluation, not much because itu0026#39;s a terrible picture, cause itu0026#39;s not in fact. The problem is that the movie is so misguided despite its effective (and few) positive scenes that you suspect the talented people involved in its making were way over their heads in thinking theyu0026#39;re creating good comedy. Richard Pryor alone, only in stand-up routines, and we all know it that his films worked better if he had a partner – not even if a brief companion being Pryor and Gene Wilder one of the most interesting duos of comedy. But the supporting cast assembled makes this a little enjoyable, though not going too far.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI believe the setting given here would benefit more a thriller/horror movie than a comedy but if the writers think they can find real humor in it, well, itu0026#39;s their opinion. Pryor is a scam lawyer who is sent to jail after being framed in a suspected deal with some mobsters. Knowing that heu0026#39;s about to get killed in prison, he acts like an insane person during trial much to everyoneu0026#39;s belief and sent to treatment on a mental facility for 21 days in order to establish if his crazy or not. But during a huge storm that cuts the power and contacts of the place, he manages to get out of the psychiatric warden and ends up getting confused as an important medical doctor whose arriving was long waited there. Now itu0026#39;s up to this fake doctor to help the staff of this chaotic hospital filled with regular patients (who comes up with this stuff, a mental hospital glued next to a regular facility?), managing his best and worst in a place with almost no electricity, with its disappearing administrator and with a dangerous criminal (Joe Dallesandro) on the loose, and just like him also trying to get away from there.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHalf an hour goes by without any laughs, and almost with no understanding of what those loud characters are saying for the most part. Only when the absurd starts to take place is that movie progresses, gets a little involving yet eternally confusing and lacking in substance. But already too late. And what Michael Apted was doing with this comedy? Heu0026#39;s trustworthy directing drama and action flicks; his direction here feels very uninspired, more like u0026quot;in it for the moneyu0026quot; (and I bet no one got paid all that much). Iu0026#39;m not recommending u0026quot;Critical Conditionu0026quot; but if you wanna see it for yourself thereu0026#39;s room for enjoyment in scenes like the u0026quot;Apocalypse Nowu0026quot; parody with Pryor putting a helicopter inside of the hospital to generate energy in the building; the great presence of Rachel Ticotin as the substitute administrator, a fine dramatic effort in showing how important decision must be during troubled conditions; Bob Dishy finally getting a noteworthy and extended role as the doctor who puts pressure on everybody including Pryor. Randall u0026#39;Texu0026#39; Cobb, Joe Mantegna, Bob Saget, Sylvia Miles Jon Polito and a few others have fine roles, the best they could get. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWell, final diagnosis: not worthy of much attention, suffers from a severe case of lack of great humor, and itu0026#39;s almost a waste of time. The medication for it can be found in all other Pryoru0026#39;s movies. This one is just wrong. 4/10”

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