Matt Eskandari’s ‘Trauma Center’ is a 2019 action thriller film that revolves around a woman’s fight for survival, trapped inside a hospital on lockdown. Madison “Maddie” Taylor becomes an accidental witness on a murder case after getting shot by the killers, corrupt cops Pierce and Tull. However, once the cops realize Maddie holds incriminating evidence against them— the bullet in her leg— they decide to trace her down to an isolated hospital wing to finish the job. Suffering from a grave injury, Maddie must find a way to escape the killers’ attacks while Lieutenant Steve Wakes, tasked with Maddie’s protection, tries to save her.
The film centers around a suspense-packed narrative that features a commendable performance by Nicky Whelan as the protagonist alongside Bruce Willis. The story follows a linear plotline that, although predictable with occasional plot holes, delivers an entertaining action flick. Given the film’s crime genre and base premise of corruption within the police, viewers might wonder about the film’s connection to real-life. Let’s find out!
Is Trauma Center a True Story?
No, ‘Trauma Center’ is not based on a true story. Directed by Matt Eskandari, with a screenplay written by Paul Da Silva, the film is a work of fiction with no firm real-life source of inspiration behind it. Although ‘Trauma Center’ marked a screenwriting debut for writer Da Silva, Eskandari had a few titles under his belt, including his well-received 2004 short film ‘The Talking.’ The director had also worked on action/thriller genres with films like ‘Victim’ and ‘Game of Assassins,’ and thus, had a good idea of what he wanted from this particular story.
When Eskandari read the script initially, he was intrigued by the film’s premise finding Da Silva’s approach to the set-up authentic. However, once Eskandari came on board for the project and realized the filming would be in a different place than the script’s setting, he decided to make some changes to the story itself.
Discussing the same in an interview with Creative Screenwriting, the director said, “‘Trauma Center’ was set somewhere like Miami or LA, but you can’t hide the fact that you’re in Puerto Rico, so I had to alter it to fit that world.” He further expanded on his decision by adding, “If I get a script where the storytelling is strong and the characters are unique, I know there are aspects we need to highlight, so I meet with the writer, and then we’re constantly rewriting.”
The exact details of the alteration made to the script for more authenticity within the film’s setting in Puerto Rico are unknown. Nevertheless, the film’s core theme of police corruption seems to hold a level of realism. Police brutality and corruption can be found in almost all corners of the world. Puerto Rico is no exception to the same.
According to 2012 reports by ACLU, based on extensive research, a systemic and ongoing problem of police corruption was found within the island. Although no specific instance inspired the film’s police corruption plotline, it’s worth noting the premise itself is entirely plausible.
Still, the film showcases most of its weight as a thriller instead of a crime film. Eskandari seems to have a penchant for such survival movies where the protagonists are placed in a remote, isolated environment and face danger from an outside antagonist. The most notable installments within this storyline would be ‘12 Feet Deep,’ ‘Survive The Night,’ and ‘Wire Room.’
Therefore, ‘Trauma Center’ incites a sense of familiarity within the viewers with its enjoyable and grounded storyline that plays into the genre while bringing Eskandari’s unique perspective to it. Regardless of the same, the film does not draw any inspiration from real-life instances or people.
Read More: Best Police Corruption Movies of All Time