Conspiracy Theory (film)

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Conspiracy Theory is a 1997 American action thriller film directed by Richard Donner. The original screenplay by Brian Helgeland centers on an eccentric taxi driver who believes many world events are triggered by government conspiracies.

Contents

Plot

Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) is a mentally unstable New York City taxi driver who lectures his passengers on various conspiracy theories.

Jerry goes to the Justice Department, to visit a girl (whom he is interested in), Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts) who works for the U.S. Attorney. She is trying to solve her father's murder, which had taken place some years earlier. Jerry tells her that NASA is trying to kill the President using a secret weapon on the Space Shuttle that can trigger earthquakes. Alice is patient with him but throws him out when he asks her out for a date.

Jerry IDs some men on the street as CIA, follows them into a building, and is captured by them. He wakes up in an unidentified building bound to a wheelchair with duct tape. A doctor (Patrick Stewart) tapes his eyes open, injects him with a drug he calls "Gravy for the brain" (LSD), and interrogates him using strobe lights and water torture. He wants to know who Jerry's been talking to. As the LSD kicks in Jerry remembers many previous sessions, which he sees as terrifying cartoons. As the doctor leans closer, Jerry bites the doctor's nose and makes an amazing escape, still bound to the wheelchair. He shuts himself in a laundry truck, and as it drives away we see a sign that indicates that the building is a mental hospital. Jerry goes to Alice's office again and grabs a guard's gun, collapses in Alice's arms after babbling incoherently about biting off someone's nose.

Alice visits Jerry in the hospital. Handcuffed to the bed and drugged to force him to sleep, he pleads with her to switch his chart with that of a criminal in the next bed. He says if she doesn't do so, he will be dead by morning. In the morning, when Alice visits again, the criminal is dead, as he has suffered a mysterious heart attack during the night. The CIA, FBI and other agencies are there. She meets a mysterious CIA psychiatrist, Dr. Jonas, whose nose has been injured. Jonas tells Alice his dog bit it. Meanwhile Jerry fakes a heart attack and escapes again. Alice finds him and frees him from his handcuffs, dropping him down a linen chute. Jerry dresses up as another doctor and escapes the building.

Jonas quizzes Alice over lunch; she explains that Jerry saved her from muggers once, so she tolerates him. In Jerry's hospital room she finds a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. As she discusses it with an FBI officer named Lowry, the CIA come and confiscate all of Jerry's personal items. Lowry offers to share info with her but she declines.

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