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VANTAGE POINT, 2008
Movie Reviews!

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VANTAGE POINT
Movie Reviews
Directed by Pete Travis
Starring Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker
Review by Eli Manning






SYNOPSIS:

With a Rashomon narrative style, the attempted assassination of the president is told from several different perspectives.

REVIEW:

This movie is your typical Hollywood film that in shown in the off-seasons (meaning it's not shown during the Summer or

Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons when most people go to the movies). It's a gimmick film that was probably originally pitched as a (title of previously successful film) MEETS (title of previously successful film).

Vantage Point is The 24 TV show meets Rashomon. It has that shaky camera, let's keep the action moving pace and overall we're in with the action as it occurs style ala 24. And it's narrative is exactly like the famous 1950 Japanese film where a crime occurs and we the audience see the different points of view of how the crime did occur.

In this film the President is shot and we see how he was shot and the aftermath from 8 different points of view. It's a great concept and this film almost succeeds. The problem from this reviewers point of view is that Vantage Point is filled with too many cliches and some of the stories/points of view are just more interesting than the others.

We first see the shooting take place from the quasi-CNN network control room point of view. This is an interesting look and I wish they went back to this story later on. What does a network do when they have just witnessed their president getting shot?

There was something funny in this section when after I bomb goes off, the reporter is wounded and might be dead. The control room is frantic and wonders if the reporter is alive. But no one seems to care about the health and safety of any of the cameramen who were also a part of the bombing. It's an interesting take at our society today where we at times assume that the cameras are just there without a human being actually programming it!

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You also wonder if the Producers had enough money to actually conceptualize the script that was written. Too many scenes seemed to be shot cheaply with a lack of flair you would see in a 100 million plus budgeted film.

This is a film that is filled with many solid actors who all do a stand-up job. But this film just isn't good enough to be remembered a year from now. I'm sure it will do OK at the box office and in DVD sales in the future -- but it's just that that magic film that you sort of hoped you'd watch with this setup.

One small pet peeve is the double cross plot point. I think we've seen this enough in movies and if I see anymore of these cliche storylines, I think I'm going to get really angry. The double cross plot is a cop-out in my opinion and screenwriters in Hollywood need to start using their imagination more.

2 1/2 stars out of 4!

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