Published Feb 22, 2008Chiming in on Hollywoods conveyer belt of post-9/11 paranoia is director Pete Traviss Vantage Point. I say this because Vantage Point couldnt hold an ounce of originality if its life depended on it. And run out of life fast, it does.
Lets start with its practically plagiarised plot. The town of Salamanca in Spain becomes, of all places, an hour-and-a-half stage for terrorism (wow). Here, the President of the United States (William Hurt, looking wooden) has arrived as a diplomat to voice his concerns on (you guessed it) Middle Eastern terrorists to a frothing sea of USA haters. Seriously.
Then suddenly, two gunshots ring out from a random terrace somewhere above, nailing Mr. President to the floor, two bodyguards (Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox) to the president and the audience to their seats. Sadly, this nail-biting suspense only lasts three minutes because for some harebrained reason the assassination we just witnessed repeats itself for the rest of the film.
Essentially what we have is a blatant rip off of Run Lola Run, which was a far more interesting. In that movie, time looping became a vehicle for entertaining and exploring an infinite amount of possible scenarios.
In Vantage Point, we are subjected to nothing but mind-numbing rewinds to the same exact time (12:00 p.m.), only theres no twist to anticipate, no brain-tease to entertain. In fact, theres no brain work at all, just the same event happening Ad nauseam. And if Traviss idea of "unique is playing the shooting back each time from a different characters perspective, then we should all fear for todays state of professional scriptwriting.
Never has a film banked so desperately on shock over content like this one. Granted, the thrilling car chase scenes and shaky camera work remind us that there are supremely talented technicians and cameramen in Hollywoods action department. Then again, Jason Bourne has already defied every stunt in this thing.
Ultimately, Vantage Point is so bad that its nearly impossible to pick out any signs of accomplishment or quality. It oozes with such poor acting that you want to scream. The dialogue is so silly and cliché-ridden that you want to laugh. Its only success is that its capable of irking you in ways youve never known. Its simply everything a good movie is not. (Sony)