MELISSA PARSONS

Puncture is a courtroom drama with a difference. It is based on a true story about lawyer Michael David Weiss (Chris Evans). Weiss is an extraordinarily talented lawyer who never reaches his peak because of his inability to kick his drug habit. Weiss and his partner Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen) are approached by ER nurse Vicky Rogers a few years after she is infected with HIV/Aids when she was pricked with a needle while trying to inject an infected patient.

Rogers introduces Weiss and Danziger to engineer Jeffrey Dancort (Marshall Bell). Dancort is the inventor of the safety needle which, he says, will save millions of lives because it cannot prick you and it cannot be re-used. Despite this, Dancort has been struggling for years to get hospitals to buy his needles. Weiss and Danziger are plunged into a head-on battle when they go to court against the United Medical Group (UMG) which is defended by the powerful Nathaniel Price (Brett Cullen).

Weiss uncovers corruption in the government-controlled Group Purchasing Organisation (GPO) which will not purchase safety needles because they are too expensive. As Danziger and Weiss’s law firm is about to go bankrupt, a glimmer of hope appears in the form of a donation from Senator O’Reilly. O’Reilly offers the donation on the condition that Danziger and Weiss give up the case to another law firm due to Weiss’s drug habit. While going through the painful withdrawal, Weiss learns that O’Reilly has been paid off by United Medical Health Supplies, who make a generous contribution to her re-election campaign.

Puncture is a touching, if a slightly dull, tale that reveals the tormented and lonely character that Weiss is as well as drawing attention to the re-use of plastic needles, which is said to be the major cause of the Aids epidemic. Despite this, we watch Danziger and Weiss get more and more tangled in the web of corruption surrounding UMG. The partners are faced with the moral dilemma of whether to fight for what is right or to take the money and run. Punture may not keep viewers on the edge of their seats but it is an informative story, with a surprising number of facts that are bound to shock the audience.

Puncture may seem a bit flat on a superficial level, with no real climax to the film, but it is the complexities of the narrative you have to pay attention to in order to catch the small details that really make the movie worthwhile.

See the movie trailer on the web or @ pPerdeby749d.

RATING: 6/10

Image: www.homorazzi.com

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