Friday, June 16, 2017

Vantage Point

Year 9, Day 167 - 6/16/17 - Movie #2,662

BEFORE: Forest Whitaker carries over again from "Ghost Dog", and I'm still kind of on topic.  Jason Bourne from last week was a spy/assassin, one could say, and "Nightcrawler" had a bit about gun-men shooting a family and some police.  After my detour for the "grief" trilogy ("Moonlight Mile", "Demolition", "Manchester By the Sea"), "Out of the Furnace" dealt with criminals shooting people, "The Crying Game" was about IRA terrorists and hit-men (among other things...) and "Ghost Dog" was about a mafia hit-man.  So I continue with this film about a Presidential assassination.

I'll pull out of this topic in a little over a week, but with so many shootings in the news this week, I sort of feel like maybe I'm right where I should be.


THE PLOT: The attempted assassination of the American President is told and re-told from several different perspectives.

AFTER: It's funny that last night's film name-checked "Rashomon", because this film takes that seen-from-different angles idea (I've never seen "Rashomon", but I know that's the hook...) and runs with it.  Generally speaking, in this 90-minute film we see the same 10 minutes (or so) of time, over and over, each time from a different person's point of view, and each time we gain a little bit more information about exactly what happened. 

It's an interesting format, but since it's so repetitive it's easy to see why no other film has ever attempted this - plus there are a lot of balls to keep up in the air, so to speak, and if there's a downside, it's that each character's story needed to end on something of a cliffhanger, or at least someone felt that it did, and also each character's story had to add something of a twist to what had come before, and therefore what we learn as truth in one story may easily be proven wrong in a story that comes later.  Also, creating all these twists means that about 18 different improbable things had to be shown taking place, and maybe I can believe that 5 or 6 improbable things might happen in sequence, but this seems like maybe a bit too much.

In addition, all 6 people whose perspectives we see are on something of a collision course, most of them need to end up in the same place at the same time for the story to come together and resolve, and that's also a bit of a stretch.  I think by the sixth time the story unfolds, the singular P.O.V. format was abandoned in favor of more traditional omniscient, omnipresent camera-work, because really, how long can you keep a thing like this going, and shouldn't we think about wrapping up this story by now?  I mean, how many times can you see the President get shot, what kind of person would want to see that again and again - wait, don't answer that.  You never know who's listening...

Also starring Dennis Quaid (last seen in "Truth"), Matthew Fox (last seen in "Alex Cross"), Sigourney Weaver (last seen in "Chappie"), William Hurt (last seen in "Race"), Zoe Saldana (last seen in "Out of the Furnace"), Edgar Ramirez (last seen in "Joy"), Eduardo Noriega, Said Taghmaoui (last seen in "Wonder Woman"), James LeGros, Bruce McGill (last seen in "Matchstick Men"), Richard T. Jones (last seen in "Moonlight Mile"), Holt McCallany (last seen in "Blackhat"), Ayelet Zurer (last seen in "Man of Steel"), Dolores Heredia, Brian McGovern, Leonardo Nam.

RATING: 5 out of 10 metal detectors

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