25 February 2008

Vantage Point

Ad-Vantage Point-Only 90 minutes

I will admit, from the first time I saw the trailer, I knew I was going to have to see this film. I love action movies. The premise was awesome. I could not wait to see this movie. Well, I went, opening weekend. There are a few positives, but I am in a negative mood, so let us start there.

The film opens with a clock in the lower corner of a black screen striking twelve and the event of President Ashton arriving to a summit meeting in Spain. There are protests and cheers at his arrival. We are in the perspective of the news crew on the scene. When President Ashton is shot and bombs go off, we see the news reporter dead. Then, the events are rewound and go the screen goes black and we see the clock reappear. We then get the same events from a different view. This happens again and again and again for a total of five times, if I remember correctly. I sadly lost count. What seemed like a good concept, of watching the same event from different vantage points, quickly became redundant and laughable. I found myself and others in the auditorium groaning after each repeat cycle.

After an hour, we have seen all the major players and their various levels of involvement in the events of the story. Finally, we get to the finale. It is a 15 minute car chase. It takes us through the crowded streets at a high rate of speed. All I can say, without giving away too much, is that Thomas Barnes, played by Dennis Quaid, can rival Jack Bauer for the title of “The Most Indestructible Person.’ That part was a bit hard to swallow, but after a 60 minute torturing of the same 12 minutes replayed, I welcomed the action.

The plot is fairly simple. It follows the events of the President being assassinated and the government cover-up of not being there. We see an aged Sigourney Weaver running the show in the TV station van. It goes into radicals who know that he was not present and their attempts to prove the American government is covering it up. It follows Secret Service agents Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox as they unravel the twisted plot. Forrest Whitaker plays a bystander who happens to be filming the incident and they use his camera for evidence. He then has a side story with some girl that loses her mother in the blast and his attempt to reunite them. In the end, all the storylines do come to a head.

Verdict: I did enjoy myself, just not nearly as much as I thought I would. I was disappointed that such a cool concept did not work out very well on film. Maybe it was the execution, or maybe it was just a poor concept. Rental is fine for this if you want to see it. Nothing is really going to be missed by not seeing this in theaters. Will I buy it? It depends on the special features. With the right combination of those, I might.

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