Coma despite being an "old" movie by many standards, is surprisingly fascinating on DVD. Crichton gets good performances from the whole cast, with Genevieve Bujold, in particular, reminding us of what a fine actress she can be. As a doctor suspicious of certain goings-on in her hospital but disbelieved by everyone around her, she shows courage and determination (without ever losing her femininity) which is welcome in a female lead. She finds herself forced to question her own sense of perspective, even her sanity, as she struggles to uncover the mystery of comatose patients that surround her.
There's one sizeable twist towards the latter half of the movie, but you generally know what's going to happen. The beauty of this movie is in the overall execution -- it's VERY well done.
Recommended rental. Especially for the medically inclined.
Based on the best-selling novel by Robin Cook, Coma tells a creepy tale and is a solid thriller, though not without its problems. Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) suspects her colleagues of foul play when her closest friend lapses into a coma following a routine operation. When Wheeler discovers an alarming pattern of unexplained comas in her hospital, she becomes obsessed with finding an answer, even when it puts her own career and life in danger. Her lover, Dr. Bellows (Michael Douglas), admits there is a mystery but doubts there is a conspiracy and even suspects Wheeler of suffering from a mental breakdown.
While I never read Mr. Cook's novel, having Michael Crichton, as a former physcian, adapt the script and direct the film seemed like the right way to go. The film boasts fine performances from Bujold, Douglas, and the "creepy" Richard Widmark as Dr. Harris. Composer Jerry Goldsmith gives the movie another stellar score adding to the chills factor. All of that being said, I still noticed some problems with pacing and other technical gaffes that could have been avoided. Thanfully, there's not enough of these problems, to be of any real concern.
The DVD loses points from me, because, of the lack of any real extras. All you will be treated to, is your standard, run of the mill, theatrical trailer. I would have been interested to hear some comments from Crichton, about the film and his take on it now, given the time that has passed. A missed opportunity---in my opinion.Read more ›
Unfortunately, "Coma" is one of those films that's good enough to make you wish it could have been even better. You feel satisfied with the viewing experience, but feel that the movie could have pushed itself even farther and turned from a good film into a very good film. The potential is certainly there, with a fun conspiracy plotline (Why are supposedly healthy people at a Boston hospital falling into irreversible comas? What is the purpose of the freaky, mysterious Jefferson Institute to where the coma patients are being shipped?), its level of paranoia (no one believes heroine Genevieve Bujold's suspicions -- or perhaps everyone around her is in on it), and Crichton's perfectly realistic representation of medical jargon and the workings of a busy hospital (a prelude to his television creation, E.R.). Many of the performances are excellent as well, especially Michael Douglas as Bujold's ambitious doctor boyfriend, Richard Widmark as the chief surgeon, and Elizabeth Ashley as the nearly robotic and incredibly frightening head of the Jefferson Institute. Rip Torn also pops in for a brief but noticeable role as the gruff head of anesthesia.Read more ›