Vantage Point Pete Travis

Vantage Point Pete Travis
Chiming in on Hollywood’s conveyer belt of post-9/11 paranoia is director Pete Travis’s Vantage Point. I say this because Vantage Point couldn’t hold an ounce of originality if its life depended on it. And run out of life fast, it does.

Let’s 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 there’s no twist to anticipate, no brain-tease to entertain. In fact, there’s no brain work at all, just the same event happening Ad nauseam. And if Travis’s idea of "unique” is playing the shooting back each time from a different character’s perspective, then we should all fear for today’s 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 Hollywood’s action department. Then again, Jason Bourne has already defied every stunt in this thing.

Ultimately, Vantage Point is so bad that it’s 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. It’s only success is that it’s capable of irking you in ways you’ve never known. It’s simply everything a good movie is not. (Sony)