Knee-jerk review: "Vantage Point"

1. That was sure one cool trailer. But the movie? Not so much. In fact, it's quite terrible.
2. Dennis Quaid is the man, as always. He does what he can in a stale archetype: the Haunted Law Enforcement Agent Who's Trying to Cope with a Recent Traumatic Shooting.
3. The gimmick here is that the movie keeps rewinding... and rewinding... and rewinding to show the same two-hour period from the perspective of a different character. The hope seems to be that you'll piece the truth together like a jigsaw puzzle. A clever idea, but as more than one critic noted, had the filmmakers just told the story linearly without any flashback razzle-dazzle, you'd be left with a fairly ordinary movie.
4. Too many plot turns - including the film's biggest twist involving a shocking double-cross - hinge on one character or another being in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time. And audiences can only swallow so many coincidences before they tune out.
5. If you're trying for a gritty political conspiracy-theory thriller, you probably don't want the audience groaning in frustration or stifling laughter. Which is exactly what happened at the Friday night 8:00pm show at the Arclight Hollywood.
6. The dialogue is often quite awful.
7. For such a huge explosion in the Spanish square, it's odd how many people seem to survive. Must be that PG-13 rating that protected them.
8. You know you're in trouble when the very first performance of the film - Zoe Saldana stumbling through a role as a CNN-type reporter - is this awful and utterly unbelievable.
9. Watching the complex plan to kidnap the President unfold is engaging. It's probably the best part of the movie. But there's just no way one guy could get through that many Secret Service agents. The Cheese Fry refuses to believe it.
10. Do not see this movie. Instead, go rent Three Days of the Condor or The Parallax View.

1 comment:

  1. Cheese Fry:
    You continue to provide the world a valuable service with your knee-jerk reviews. I continue to use your insights in determining whether: (1) I should see a flick at the picture house, (2) wait until a movie is out on NetFlix, or (3) totally ditch the idea of ever watching a particular film. Keep up the good work, both as a film critic and the President of Sudan.