Mercy parents guide

Mercy Parent Guide

With an average of 1.4 f-bombs per minute, this film's script certainly lacks variety.

Overall D

Theaters: When members of the Irish mob storm a hospital to kill a patient, they can't imagine the lethal skills possessed by his doctor.

Release date May 19, 2023

Violence D
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is Mercy rated R? The MPAA rated Mercy R for violence, bloody images, and pervasive language

Run Time: 85 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Michelle (Leah Gibson) cut her teeth doing battlefield surgery as a combat trauma surgeon in Afghanistan – until her husband, also a member of the armed forces, was killed with an explosive in her medical tent. That’s not enough to stop her practicing medicine, and she returns to the US to take care of their son, Bobby (Anthony Bolognese), and work at a small hospital.

When Ellis (Sebastien Roberts) brings in Danny (Mark Masterton) with several gunshot wounds, Michelle knows exactly how to deal with the injuries, but she’s going to need her specialized medical training to manage an unusual complication - Danny’s brother, Sean (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), storms the hospital with a squad of goons to finish him off. Luckily, Michelle has the element of surprise on her side: as far as the goons are concerned, she’s just another doctor, and not a lethal weapon on two legs with the best combat training the U.S. Army has to offer.

I was relieved to see that this film had a runtime of a mere 85 minutes, thinking that if the movie turned out to be terrible, my suffering would be minimized. Unfortunately, that’s a non-relativistic way of measuring 85 minutes, because this movie takes forever. It has all the low-budget appearance and bad writing of one of those direct-to-DVD Christian movies, but without the preachy morals or disingenuous character writing. (It’s not the Christianity that’s the problem: it’s the genre’s notoriously poor film quality.) In fact, most of the writing in this movie consists of the f-word. There are 119 uses of that particular term, which averages out to 1.4 f-bombs per minute. Now, it isn’t distributed that evenly, but you get the idea. The plot is similarly unoriginal, managing only to serve up stale reminders of better films when it isn’t being aggravatingly stupid. The aggravating stupidity, as you might have suspected, consumes a majority of the screentime.

Unfortunately, the writing is not the movie’s only weak spot. The acting is almost universally bad, and Jon Voight’s unconvincing Irish accent fades in and out like a dementia patient trying to recall their own relatives. It’s tragic more than anything – or it would be if it weren’t hugely annoying. Leah Gibson does her best with the script, but her part is desperately bad, and I think the filmmakers mostly have her here for the way she looks in a skintight white tank top. Cynical of me, I know, but it would also explain the lengthy shower scene which, while supposedly focusing on her abdominal scars, manages to mostly ogle her breasts like a 14-year-old boy in a swimming pool. I don’t appreciate films making me feel like a voyeur.

I really can’t think of a compelling reason to watch this movie, and I can’t recommend watching it in hopes of discovering one. That way madness lies, my friends. I’d recommend any number of less annoying activities, like pouring itching powder in your underwear drawer, or deliberately giving yourself a cold. Anything is better than this.

Directed by Tony Dean Smith. Starring Leah Gibson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jon Voight. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release May 19, 2023. Updated

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Rating & Content Info

Why is Mercy rated R? Mercy is rated R by the MPAA for violence, bloody images, and pervasive language

Violence: People are frequently shot and killed. Several people are killed in explosions. A man’s ear is cut off. A man is fatally electrocuted. Several people are severely beaten.
Sexual Content: A woman is briefly seen the shower, with partial breast nudity.
Profanity: There are 119 sexual expletives, 11 scatological terms, and occasional uses of terms of deity and mild curses in the script.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking and smoking. A dog is given some alcohol.

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If this somehow appeals to you, you’ll probably like Welcome to Sudden Death, which is equally bad in similar ways, but set at a basketball game instead of a hospital. Better films with a similar premise include Die Hard, Skyscraper, orAir Force One. Patriot Games also sees a cast of Irish baddies show up on US soil with mischief in mind.