February 22, 2008 Vantage Point
Studio: Columbia Pictures Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense violence and action, some disturbing images and brief strong language.
We all see things a little bit differently, even if it happens right in front of us.
That's the setup for "Vantage Point."
As the story opens, the president (William Hurt) is visiting Spain for a global conference on terrorism. Of course, the terrorists decide it's the perfect time to take out the commander-in-chief. Right off the bat, the president is in serious trouble in more ways than one.
The gimmick of "Vantage Point" is we the see the assassination attempt over and over but each time it's through the eyes of someone different.
As the story unfolds we're introduced to a very diverse cast of characters, and they all have their own ideas about what happened.
The use of instant replay in a movie was perfected in classic film "Rashomon." Although this film is not nearly as good, director Pete Travis tells a story that at least keeps your interest.
Along with Hurt, Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox star as Secret Service agents, Sigourney Weaver is a television news producer and Forest Whitaker plays an American tourist who happens to catch the events on his home video camera.
Which brings me to my biggest complaint with "Vantage Point."
I understand the need to show shooting several times to establish what the director is trying to do, but seeing the same thing over and over does get a little repetitive. Thankfully, with each viewing we get closer to finding out the truth of what's really going on.
The ending offers a pretty satisfying chase scene that is well-shot and full of action. I just didn't care for how much effort it took to get there.
Also, because of the way the story is told we really don't learn much about any of the players...good or bad. This is clearly an event driven movie, not a character driven film. If you keep that is mind it serves as a decent thrill ride.
On my rating scale, "Vantage Point" earns a Double.
THE SIMPSONS Tonight at 8:00 PM The Saga of Carl; Dangers on a Train
When Homer, Moe, Lenny and Carl win the lottery, Carl takes off to Iceland with all the money; Marge mistakenly signs up for a website for married people looking for extramarital relationships