22 March 2008
Mooney at the Movies: Vantage Point
"Tell me why I haven't been nominated for an Oscar yet!" (Columbia)
Vantage Point (B+)
Starring Dennis Quaid, William Hurt, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver
Written by Barry Levy
Directed by Pete Travis
I'm beginning to think that the Bourne series was definitely one of the most influential movies of the last decade. It's easy to see when EVERY action movie since tries to imitate it.
And imitate it Vantage Point does, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If a movie manages to be both entertaining and make a point or two about our current state of fear and espionage, that's a movie worth seeing.
While not as profound as, say, The Kingdom, Vantage Point still manages to create a highly realistic, and therefore terrifying setup: At an international terrorism summit in Spain, the President of the United States (William Hurt) is shot.
From this jumping point, we see it played out from 8 different perspectives, from the compelling and tense (Dennis Quaid), to the interesting but unnecessary (Forest Whitaker). There's obviously a few too many storylines here. Honestly, about the sixth or seventh time the screen freezes, rewinds, and fades to black to hear the clock strike twelve noon and follow a different character, the audience will be collectively groaning.
That being said, Vantage Point still manages to be one of the most entertaining action pictures of recent memory. Dennis Quaid's car chase is absolutely exhilarating, and it's obvious that Travis was a Paul Greengrass protegé; he's got his sense of creating tension and realism that made the last two Bourne pictures so outstanding.
Overall, despite some predictability and clichés, Vantage Point is highly entertaining, and that's the best way to look at it.