25 October 2008

Movie Review: Vantage Point

We ordered "Vantage Point" on Pay-Per-View the other night.

No spoilers here.

It's got an impressive cast including Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, and William Hurt. At first I wasn't sure if they'd just aged that much in real life or they were playing older folks but, no, they've aged. (Sorry, folks, me, too.) Still, they and the long list of actors did a pretty good job with this concept movie.

In a nutshell, there's an assassination attempt and you get to see it played out over and over, each time from a different person's perspective.

I like thrillers and I like movies that muck with your sense of reality and I particularly like ones that combine the two, which this attempts to do. With each "retelling" of events, you get more clues about what just happened or what's about to happen. So you spend a lot of time saying to the yourself*, "Wait! He just saw something! What did he see?!" and hoping it'll be resolved in the next retelling.

The tag line "8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth." is what they try to offer up but it's not a perfect approach. The movie "cheats" in sometimes showing you things that aren't strictly in the viewer's range. And the device used to signal that viewpoints are about to switch--the scenes you just watched play quickly in reverse until you are back at the start--gets annoying, particularly after the third or fourth time. There are flaws in the plot and it gets heavy-handed with it's political message. Plus, how the movie wraps up all the loose bits is contrived.

Even with all that said, I liked it. There were plenty of plot twists, confounding clues and adrenaline-charged chase scenes to keep me watching. It's worth the Pay-Per-View price ($4.99), certainly. I give it 2 out of 4 jujubees.

* Or to the person next to you, if you're rude like that. Guess which I did.


fiona said...

"At first I wasn't sure if they'd just aged that much in real life or they were playing older folks"
Thank you, Thank you , Thank you
At last a line I can use.
"I've scored an acting role, I'm playing the part of an older person and I'm getting into character,I know, you would hardly believe I'm actually only 25" :-)
I'll also check out the movie xxx

Mike said...

We part ways here. Movies that jump around drive me nuts. The movie 'the english patient' is a perfect example. My wife tricked me into going to that 3 hour sleep fest. And for those that haven't figured it out yet here's how it was presented. Make a movie, cut it into 10 parts, then show the parts out of order. As in 6,1,7,2,8,3,9,4,10,5. So it starts and ends in the middle.

Kristin said...

I don't even remember this coming out but it sounds like something I'd enjoy.... Who am I kidding? I just recorded something on Lifetime to get a junk food, er, junk TV fix. My taste isn't always all that discriminating - I just need to be in the right frame of mind.

lacochran said...

Fiona: :)

Mike: FWIW, like Elaine Benes, I *hated* the English Patient. Talk about boring.

Kristin: I have friends who watch Lifetime movies (I don't judge) but I don't because the titles and synopses are enough to make me want to do myself in.

LBluca77 said...

I got this movie on my netflix about a month back and I did not like it. I really thought I would with the cast that it had, but for some reason I just could not get into it.

Sean said...

I rented this movie through Redbox a few months ago. It was definitely worth $1.05. $4.99 may have been too much. I liked the different perspecive thing, but the ending was kind of silly.

Mike - I just watched Memento for the first time the other night. Now that is confusing movie that starts at the end and jumps around.

lacochran said...

Lbluca77: It's true... the line-up implies a better film.

Sean: I LOVE Memento. Not that I want to rewatch it. Talk about messing with your mind. I thought it was a fascinating premise.

wc#3 said...

I also loved momento, thanks for reminding me of it.

I looked forward to vantage point and was a little dissapointed that it wasn't as good as it could be.

So most of you're review I agree with, and, like you, I did still enjoye it.