Denzel Washington is cast in a very unusual role, one that he has never portrayed before, and does it exceptionally well. Denzel plays John Quincy Archibald, an average guy and a working father trying to keep bread on the table and a roof over his familys head. His wife Denise (Kimberly Elise) plays her part beautifully as the distressed and loving mother.
John Qs son collapses whilst playing in a baseball game and anxiously, he is taken to hospital by ambulance. John and his wife discover that their son has an enlarged heart and a transplant is necessary to save his life.
Since his health insurance does not cover his sons condition, he is turned away and refused hospital treatment. John goes through great lengths to raise money just to get his sons name on the heart donors list. Attempting many ways to raise the money for the operation, finally failing in his endeavour to find the funds to operate on his son, John Q takes extreme measures to protect the family he idolises so dearly. He takes a number of hospital staff hostage and hopefully brings much needed attention to his appeal for help from the system, which he claims is bound in red tape with unsympathetic care to the sick.
Such a hostage seize gains much attention from the media and public as the action is publicised. The hostages he takes appear to support him and the gradual accumulation of TV audiences are also supportive.
The supporting cast is brilliant and includes Lt. Frank Grimes (Robert Duvall) as the hostage negotiator full of sympathy and convincingly portrayed, Dr Raymond Turner (James Woods) as a pathetic unconcerned surgeon realising that he probably will not get paid for his surgical skills, Rebecca Payne (Anne Heche) as a heartless hospital administrator and also Ray Liotta (Chief Of Police) just eager to disperse the crowds outside the hospital and squash the siege in typical gun-ho fashion!
John Q is one of Denzels finest performances. An emotional drama, packed with tension, which will focus you to the screen for the duration of the movie. One might conclude that the film delivers a strong message and the sad testament to the healthcare issues has a big impact on American audiences, and I am sure just about every other middle class citizen around the world can relate to it also. Blu-ray quality and sound is quite acceptable and grain free.