Article 4961 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Michael Crichton
Featuring Michael Douglas, Rip Torn, Genevieve Bujold
What it is: Medical conspiracy thriller
When her best friend goes into a coma after a routine medical procedure, a female doctor discovers that an unusually large number of young people have suffered the same fate. However, she finds her life in danger when she investigates further.
This movie does not feature Crichton’s favorite theme about technology gone awry; though it does involve technology, the evil here is distinctly human. But then, it’s not based on one of his own works, but rather on a novel by Robin Cook. It does feature the associated theme of an evil conspiracy, though, and it does bear a certain resemblance to PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR. Though he does know how to build up the suspense, I have trouble with Crichton’s pacing; it takes way too long to get the story moving, and there are certain other scenes that drag on a bit too long. Nevertheless, the acting is good, and it works itself up to a good climax. The fantastic content is mostly found in the way the coma patients are treated at the Jefferson Institute. All in all, this is a decent thriller.