Showcasing a narcotic New York City and another paranoid, crazed protagonist, Martin Scorsese shares the world of Manhattan hospitals in Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Frank Pierce, played by Nicolas Cage, is an exhausted, haunted paramedic who has not saved a life in months while on the job. After a string of graveyard shifts, Frank pushes for an end to his career by giving up in hopes of being fired. In a search of true connection, Frank tries to find validation within patients, victims, and their relatives. A true loner in a big city.
Both showing the dark aspects of New York City nightlife and actually written by the same writer, Paul Schrader, Bringing Out the Dead just makes you wish you had watched Taxi Driver (1976) instead. Scorsese floods the streets with Junkies, drunks, criminals, and crooks like never before. Although Taxi Driver shows unpleasant sides of the city, Bringing Out the Dead makes you never want to set foot in New York again. A feeling Scorsese usually does not evoke, despite never showing the concrete jungle in the best light. Up for the viewer to decide if this feeling is appropriate or not…
The combination of Nicolas Cage and Martin Scorsese may seem out of the blue. Surprisingly, the duo makes for a great collaboration! The camera work also greatly emphasizes Cage’s take of mental burn out and manic depression. The film makes for an interesting watch, to say the least. Scorsese is no stranger to putting the audience inside of a character’s head, diving into their thought process and human nature. However, do not expect to feel uplifted or better off for indulging in a viewing of Bringing Out the Dead— trust me… just watch Taxi Driver.
Story/Plot – 15/20 Direction – 17/20 Acting - 17/20
Cinematography – 17/20 Score/Soundtrack – 16/20
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