Random Movie of the Week: Desperate Measures

(I do not own this photo)

The best movie villains are not necessarily the ugliest, tallest, or biggest people in the movie but rather the smartest ones.  The ones that are always a step ahead whether things go according to plan or not they have something else up there sleeve.  Case and point being Anthony Hopkins in his role as Hannibal Lector, the genius, prim and proper cannibal in Silence of the Lambs.  Is he ugly?  Not really, clean cut with slick back hair and piercing blue eyes.  Is he tall or big?  No, according to IMDb he is barely over five foot, eight inches but the up-right posture he had the presence of some of a much larger stature.  This brought all new meaning to what it means to be a terrifying villain.  Ever since his iconic performance in 1991, movie makers have been trying to capture the same intimidation factor of someone of Lector’s intelligence.  That brings me to this week’s random movie, Desperate Measures.

A brief synopsis of Desperate Measures is as follows:  In a desperate need of a donor for his son’s rare disease, police officer Frank Conner (Andy Garcia) has to turn to one of San Francisco’s most dangerous minds an imprisoned Peter McCabe (Michael Keaton).  McCabe initially balks at the pleas of Conner but once he realized a potential opportunity of escape he was all in.  Of course this genius level criminal finds a way the make Conner’s hope of helping his son go array and now Conner has to make sure to take McCabe alive before other police officers take him dead or alive.  Here is the trailer:

If you are in the mood for an action flick that is fun and you can turn your brain off for, definitely check out Desperate Measures.  The action sequences are well choreographed and pretty inventive.  I am by no means up on my physics so I am sure some of the things that the devious villain, McCabe, comes up with to avoid capture are very much so toward the ridiculous side but like I said you can definitely turn your brain off and enjoy it.  This movie has a lot to offer for action fans including explosions, shoot outs, car chases, hand to hand combat, and more.  If you are some who struggles question like “how did he know to do that?” or “why would they do that?” then this probably is not the kind of movie for you.

As I suggest in the introduction, a movie like this relies heavily on the effectiveness of the villain.  For some reason I find a lot of people doubt the acting abilities of Michael Keaton and I cannot help but feel the opposite.  People went crazy when it was initially revealed that he would be playing Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton’s Batman and I dare say he was the best Batman of them all.  In my opinion his role as the TLC quoting police chief in The Other Guys.  So when Keaton took a role as a dangerously intelligent killing machine I had no doubt in my mind that he would pull it off and he did.  He was intelligence definitely has that intimidation factor needed whether it is his plain, blank stare in the prison or his malicious, teeth gritting expressions as he inflicted injuries to others.  If you have seen Pacific Heights, another film where Keaton places a creepy and sadistic maniac, then you know what to expect.

Michael Keaton (center) as Captain Gene Mauch in “The Other Guys” as he is confronted by Mark Wahlberg (right) and Will Ferrel (left) for making yet another random TLC reference.


In my opinion, Desperate Measures is an action/thriller worthy of a watch even if only on a rainy afternoon with nothing else to do.  I give it an 8/10 because it is towards the predictable side and lacks plausibility even for me.

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  1. #1 by 1 book 1 movie on July 14, 2012 - 3:22 PM

    I agree his acting is judged way too much…Loved him in the Other Guys!

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