director: Pete Travis
writer: Barry Levy
starring: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Eduardo Noriega
A self-proclaimed “thriller” that doesn’t thrill so much as it devolves into another generic Hollywood product that’ll do good business opening weekend before fading from the consciousness of every moviegoer that sees it. I know, this is a refrain you’ve heard me start reviews with many times, but seeing as 85% of the stuff in the mutiplexes ain’t that great, what choice do I have?
Vantage Point’s story focuses on the assassination attempt of the U.S. president as a peace summit in Spain, the gimmick being that it’s told from the different perspectives of eight strangers with eight different points-of-view. That concept makes the movie relatively interesting for the first half, though by the time we get to the eighth recounting of the same event, it’s a little grating. The eight vantage points converge in the final act, but there’s no real pay-off. There’s no great revelation or “holy cow!” moment where our preconceptions are turned on their ear. You can see the finish line of the movie from a distance, so there’s no surprise and thus no real enjoyment.
The acting is alright; all the actors turn in the type of performances you’d expect from an all-star cast. This despite a relatively lackluster script that does little to develop any of the characters. Hard to do that when you’ve got so many big actors that all need screen time to justify their salaries, but not much effort was made to give them anything other than shallow motivations. The bad guys talk in cliched generalities about vague political zeal for destroying America. You know, the standard terrorist rhetoric.
It’s clear this is the kind of movie that actors love; they get to work with other all-stars and get a chance to “act” in the most obvious way possible. Food for the ego. Any goodwill I had for their performances was destroyed when William Hurt and Dennis Quaid appeared to fall in love with each other at the end of the movie. I won’t say too much more, but it’s worth seeing the flick just for those few precious moments the two have. Bizarre, hilarious, and kind of creepy.