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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vantage Point (2008)

When the President of the United States (William Hurt) attends a summit on terrorism in Spain, he is shot and his assassination is followed by two large explosions killing many people including spectators. The film then shows the assassination from the vantage points of several people including secret service agents, terrorists and tourists and with each new vantage point, we get another clue that will eventually let us see the whole picture. This is a clever, rapid fire political thriller that (with the exception of one stupid scene) is quite a nail biter. Whenever any film shows the same story from a different perspective, they are almost inevitably likened to Kurosawa's RASHOMON and not favorably either. It's not fair and especially not fair with this film. RASHOMON showed us the impossibility of knowing the truth as each man saw his own truth. VANTAGE POINT has no such existential aspirations, it's a straight forward action piece that uses a gimmick (not unlike Nolan's MEMENTO) as a fresh way of spicing up a story that if presented chronologically would be routine. The film's dumbest WTF? moment is when some terrorists on the run, after they've detonated a bomb killing masses of innocent people, swerve a car to avoid hitting a little girl ... as if. Directed by Pete Travis. The large cast includes Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox, Zoe Saldana, Bruce McGill, Edgar Ramirez, Ayelet Zurer and James Le Gros.

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