Genre Grandeur – Vantage Point (2008) – Rhyme and Reason


For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Political Thrillers, here’s a review of Vantage Point (2008) by SG of Rhyme and Reason

Thanks again to Tony of Coog’s Reviews for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Satu of FairyTale Pictures and it is Bestselling/Popular Novel Adaptations.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of June by sending them to novelideasatu@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Satu!

Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:

______________________________________

 

Vantage Point (2008)

 

 

What you see is not the truth,

But one component of one role

From but one angle you control.

And though you think yourself a sleuth,

The truth is always out of reach,

For each man’s view belongs to each.

 

Only God and storytellers

Know what viewpoints form the whole.

____________________

 

MPAA rating: PG-13

 

 

Political thrillers aren’t always my cup of tea, but as with any genre, it all depends how the story is told. I love a good puzzle movie, the kind that actively challenges you to figure out what’s going on, teasing your imagination all along the way, and Vantage Point does exactly that.

 

Recounting the events surrounding a Presidential assassination attempt at a peace summit in Spain, the film presents the incident from various points of view, each of which brings a new level of understanding to what exactly is going on. We start out with a news crew’s coverage of the event (which includes Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver a year before they were together again in Avatar), but their view only goes as far as a bomb detonation, at which point we rewind to another witness, namely Secret Service hero Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid). The movie rewinds like that about six times, each with its own cliffhanger, which might frustrate those wanting the story to get on with it, but also kept my interest glued to the screen.

 

I especially enjoy films in which different people’s stories converge in surprising ways, and there is no shortage of twists and turns. Some have compared Vantage Point to Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon due to the various perspectives of the same events, but Rashomon used its diverging narratives to put the truth in doubt and keep things much more subjective than Vantage Point’s story, which is simply recounted from different angles. It’s perhaps not “great cinema” like Rashomon, but its action and intrigue are far more entertaining, in my opinion.

 

 

It also helps to have a strong cast, including Quaid, Forest Whitaker as a civilian filming the incident, William Hurt as the President, Eduardo Noriega as a jealous cop, and (Lost alert!) Matthew Fox as another Secret Service agent, as well as future Lost co-star Saïd Taghmaoui. Films like this and We Are Marshall really make me wonder why Matthew Fox hasn’t had a more successful movie career. He’s a good actor, so give him some roles, Hollywood!

 

It’s true that Vantage Point may be something of a “gimmick movie.”  Certain plotlines don’t get the closure others do, and several political motivations aren’t explored in much detail. Yet the imperfections of individual pieces don’t detract when they’re brought together as a riveting whole. Simply put, Vantage Point is a lean and fast-paced thriller uniquely told.

 

Best line: (Phil, an advisor suggesting an attack) “Mr. President, we have to act strong.”   (President Ashton) “No, we have to be strong.”

 

 

Rank: List-Worthy

 

 

© 2018 S.G. Liput

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2 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Vantage Point (2008) – Rhyme and Reason

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur June Finale – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) – Coog’s Reviews |

  2. Reblogged this on Rhyme and Reason and commented:
    Here’s my review of Vantage Point for MovieRob’s June Genre Grandeur for Political Thrillers. I’ve been meaning to review this perspective-changing thriller for a long time now, and this was a prime opportunity to catch up on an underrated film.

    Like

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