Vantage Point

| February 26, 2008

Wow. We’re now on the verge of March and Hollywood still has nothing decent to show for 2008. With the exception of Rambo, the first half of the year thus far has been a vast wasteland of wretched cinema that has sunk so low it would even drive Helen Keller mad. Check this list out: One Missed Call, First Sunday, In the Name of the King, Mad Money, Strange Wilderness, Meet the Spartans, The Eye, Over Her Dead Body, Fool’s Gold, Step Up 2 The Streets, and the list goes on. Add Vantage Point to the list.
I was afraid this would happen, but apparently the only great thing Vantage Point had going for it was a kick-ass trailer. I’ll admit, the previews looked awesome (and apparently the rest of America thought the same, with a #1 box-office debut). But alas, the flick is much less intelligent than it pretends to be. The non-linear editing trick is attempted yet again, but you can do all the editing tricks in the world but it won’t change a shitty story. A shitty story out of order sucks just as much as a shitty story in chronological order.
Director Pete Travis (who?) has assembled the most bland cast known to man: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker and a whole bunch of Middle Eastern dudes that all look the same. All of these people have put me to sleep at some point or another in my lifetime, and I haven’t seen a cast this boring since The Village. However, this movie has guns and explosions. Therefore, it was somewhat entertaining to watch Quaid and Fox take charge of the situation as two badass agents guarding the President. But then things take a turn for the ridiculous, and by the end of the movie the secret service agents make the Idaho park rangers look like CIA operatives. They make too many dumb moves and somehow allow a team of terrorists to kidnap the President. What’s their plan, exactly? We don’t find out. Who are these people and where did they come from? We don’t find out. Why does Sigourney Weaver look so shitty in this movie? We don’t find out. One of the main characters ends up being a bad guy. What were his motives? We don’t find out.
By mixing up the order in which the scenes play out, I guess the filmmakers thought that the audience would be too confused to recognize the gaping plot holes throughout. But even with their so-called clever gimmick, they violate their own damn rule midway through. The gimmick is this: the same event takes place over and over for the audience from a bunch of different character perspectives. But midway through, the story gets so sloppy that it doesn’t even follow one point of view anymore, but multiple points of view at the same time. Is this the terrorist’s perspective? Or the little girl? What the fuck am I watching? Who cares?!
I can’t really talk plot with this kind of flick without giving too much away (in case there are idiots out there that still want to see it). But right now, you’d be much better off seeing–well, renting an old video. The only decent secret service movie out there is In the Line of Fire. Yes, yes. Go check that out.
Grade: C

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