(Review originally written at 3 January 2006)

At first I had a hard time watching this movie. There wasn't a real clear plot line and the movie made a pointless impression. However halfway trough the movie, the movie began to take pace and the story and characters took more form and everything became clear. That, plus a few moments of brilliance, make "Bringing Out the Dead" a good and perhaps also underrated Martin Scorsese movie.

Basically the movie doesn't have a main storyline. It follows paramedic Frank Pierce (Nicolas Cage) during his work in New York. At first the movie doesn't really seem to go anywhere and everything makes a rather pointless and perhaps even dull impression. But "Bringing Out the Dead" is in fact a wonderful character study. We more and more begin to understand Nicolas Cage his character and why he is burned out as the movie takes more and more form. There are some plot line elements in the movie but I in fact don't really like those elements. The movie would had been better if it had zero plot in it. The character Frank Pierce already says enough and becomes interesting and intriguing enough to carry the movie on its own.

The movie has a good supporting cast and I especially will mention the crazy Tom Sizemore and an almost unrecognizable Ving Rhames (it at least took me a while to realize that it was him) as colleague paramedics of the Nicolas Cage character. Also Marc Anthony impresses as the homeless and 'crazy' Noel, who returns multiple times in the movie.

The directing by Martin Scorsese is sublime and so is the cinematography and editing. The movie is professionally made and is a good looking one. The movie has a dark atmosphere which works well for the 'story' and feeling of the movie.

"Bringing Out the Dead" is not a movie for just everyone, since it has some unusual elements and it isn't as simply constructed as other Hollywood movies, which make the movie a bit of an hard one to watch at times. It was an unusual and unique experience to watch this movie and it was something I wouldn't had wanted to miss. Give it a shot, you might very well end up liking it.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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