Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Puncture (2011)

Next time I go for my measles, I’m examining the hell out of that needle.

Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) is a young, hotshot Houston lawyer that also has a bit of drug problem. Actually, correction, he has way more than just “a bit” of a drug problem; it’s actually pretty hefty. However, he gets by on his smarts that earns him enough money to buy as many drugs and booze as he wants, while also still having enough left over to get himself a place at a local motel or something of that nature. His best-buddy Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen) is more of a straight-laced lawyer that usually helps him get all of the cases he can find, no matter how unusual or simple they be. However, one day, they sort of walk into one they weren’t expecting, and yet, aren’t too sure if they even want to attack in the first. What their case basically is, is this woman named Vicky (Vinessa Shaw), a local ER nurse, gets pricked by a contaminated needle without ever knowing it, until she finds out it carries a major sickness. As both Weiss and Danziger dig deeper into the case, a health care and pharmaceutical conspiracy teeters on exposure and heavyweight attorneys move in on the defense, making them both unsure as to whether or not they actually want to go ahead on this case, or just leave it alone before any of them get hurt.

My mind was totally blown once the credits showed up and told us that this was all one true story that actually occurred way back back in the late-90’s. I mean obviously, dirty needles are not something people want around as it causes some of the worst diseases of all, but I never knew such a case was taken so far to get them away. It actually makes for a very interesting documentary that I’d watch on the History Channel, rather than one, long re-enactment, with some pretty faces.

Sorry Cap, you don’t always shine so well.

Looks like somebody accidentally found Cap at the tail-end of the 80's, man. Wait til Nevermind hits.

Looks like somebody accidentally found Cap at the tail-end of the 80’s, man. Wait til Nevermind hits.

Co-directors Adam and Mark Kassen (yup, they’re related) have clearly studied this story, from head-to-toe as they get just about every detail right. You can tell that it interests them by how much effort they are putting into making this unknown story, not just known to us regular, everyday-folk, but to also make it matter. In here, you have your typical Cold Case drama where certain pieces of evidence are gathered, deals are made and some corrupt politicians shed their true-skin, but it never feels like it’s always going to go somewhere you’ve seen a hundred, million times before. You get a sense that the Kassen’s care so much about this, and better yet, want you to care as well.

Problem is, the effort doesn’t fully-work.

What bothered me most about this flick is that it doesn’t really seem to know where it wants to go with itself. At first, it seems like they’re really going to dive right into the whole politics of this one case and reveal some a-holes to the public, that need to especially be seen. But then, it sort of goes the conventional-route and starts to talk about Weiss’ drug addiction; which is pretty evident that it exists throughout the whole movie, yet, never really brought up until half-way through and then becomes all about just that. Watching a person be addicted to drugs and fuck something up as big as this case that Weiss has here should be very nerve-racking and emotional to have to sit-through, but there’s barely any tension whatsoever. Most of that has to do with the fact that we never quite get straight-focus of who this story is really supposed to be all about.

Also, I couldn’t help but feel like the Kassen’s were just constantly shoving everything they had to say about the corruption and conspiracy that came along with the case, straight down our throats until we eventually just gave in and got right onto Wikipedia right away. Honestly, I would have felt like that if they just stopped preaching for a little bit and gave me some room to breathe and congest everything in. But nope, they just kept on going, and going, and going, until I didn’t know if they could go on anymore.

But you know what? They did.

Look out behind you, Johnny Storm! Oh, don't worry, Tony Stark will save you or something, right? Wrong superheros? Aw, screw you! Same people!

Look out behind you, Johnny Storm! Oh, don’t worry, Tony Stark will save you or something, right? Wrong superheros? Aw, screw you! Same people!

And you know who feels the side-effects of that the most? Chris Evans, that’s who!

Which, in case you couldn’t tell by now, is an absolute shame considering Chris Evans is probably the only aspect in this movie worth seeing. Reason why Evans is so good here is that he’s able to make us sympathize with somebody as distasteful and unreliable as Mike Weiss, yet, by the same token, make us hate his guts and wish he would just get his whole act together when he clearly needs to start doing so. Evans has always been a good actor in the stuff he’s shown-up in, but now that I think he’s starting to wind his time down as Steve Rodgers, and quite possibly dive into some far-more different directions for his career, I think we’re going to be able to see him really take advantage of that lovable screen-presence he’s always had on-display in many movies. The only problem is that their either barely-seen flicks like this, or Sunshine, or even the Iceman to a certain extent; or pieces of junk that just about everybody and your 13-year-old son saw, like Not Another Teen Movie, or What’s Your Number? or both of the Fantastic Four flicks.

And then of course, there’s some that sort of fails in both categories, like the Perfect Score or London. But I guess those two being forgotten about and barely-even seen is probably a good thing.

Not just for Evans, but all of us as a society.

Consensus: Anytime Chris Evans shows-up to be cool, charming, make us laugh and make us expect the unexpected from his character, Puncture gets a whole lot better. But, as predicted, without him, the rest of the movie sort of falls flat.

5.5 / 10 = Rental!!

I guess ladies can rejoice that he's in a wife-beater. Even if he is supposed to be a drug-addled, two-bit loser. But sure, that's hot.

I guess ladies can rejoice that he’s in a wife-beater. Even if he is supposed to be a drug-addled, two-bit loser. But sure, that’s totally “hot”.

Photo’s Credit to:


22 responses to “Puncture (2011)

  1. simondaniel27 April 1, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Yeah, I just couldn’t relate to this movie at all. None of the characters were appealing to me and it eventually turned into background noise while I was cleaning up! Great Review!

  2. Writer Loves Movies April 1, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Didn’t get chance to see this one. Sounds like an interesting concept – shame it’s not quite as well executed.

  3. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop April 1, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I heard that this is one of the films Evans is actually most proud of. Sounds like he probably shouldn’t be! Nice review Dan.

  4. thomasjford April 1, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Sounds interesting enough, despite your low rating Dan. I may add this to my list.

  5. butterflymumma April 1, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Wow! Great first sentence, Dan! You hooked me and I had to read on. Now I’m going to have to rent this film…

  6. Marlon Wallace (@marlonwallace) April 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I think this is Chris Evans’ best performance, unfortunately, the movie shouldn’t have revolved around his character. It should have revolved around the character played by Mark Kassen.

  7. Brittani April 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    At the begging of your review I was like “Oh, this sounds interesting.” Then half way through I realized I had seen this before myself. You’re right, just a rental. Doesn’t have the best staying power. lol

  8. Crow April 2, 2014 at 3:16 am

    This quote “Reason why Evans is so good here is that he’s able to make us sympathize with somebody as distasteful and unreliable as Mike Weiss, yet, by the same token, make us hate his guts and wish he would just get his whole act together when he clearly needs to start doing so.” is exactly why I have driven you crazy over this film. I totally agree with your whole review. For all Chris Evan fans ( this gal being number one ), this is a must see. His performance (to me) was freaking Oscar worthy. The film had so many issues, but Chris was so awesome- I briefly forgot he was Captain America- briefly.
    THANKS FOR THE REVIEW! You need two rating systems – one for the movie and one for Chris Evans!

  9. thycriticman April 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Chris Evans is a better actor than most folks give him credit for! Haven’t seen this one and I do think I will anytime soon but I do think 2014 is going to be a great year for the dude. Captain America is getting rave reviews and so is Snowpiercer!

  10. Three Rows Back April 2, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    What’s Captain America doing here?

  11. Zoë April 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Sounds like it just fell flat! Great review!

  12. Caroline Crow March 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I reread this review. Now that I have viewed this movie more times than I care to admit, I still love it. I think it is not only Evans; it is the story. Regardless of some errors or oddities in the film- the story is captivating to me. I sure hope Weiss was as passionate and broken as Evans plays him because I still believe in his character despite his overwhelming addiction. He moves me to care. He tells me despite the horrible big business of our government, the drug addict will tell the truth. There are way too many real life metaphors and parables that seep through Weiss to me as a viewer. Maybe it is my own self desire to be a hero despite my many shortcomings, but I cannot love this movie anymore than I do.

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