Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Political Action Thrillers’

Vantage Point – Starring Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox & Forest Whitaker

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 3 December 2011

Vantage Point (2008)(DVD)   Directed by Pete Travis, starring Dennis Quaid (The Right Stuff (1983), The Big Easy (1987), Far from Heaven (2002))Matthew Fox (Lost (2004-2010, Television series)Forest Whitaker (Bird (1988), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), The Last King of Scotland (2006))Sigourney Weaver (the four Alien films (1979-1997), Avatar (2009))William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), A History of Violence (2005), Syriana (2005), Into the Wild (2007)) and others.  In this relentlessly fast-paced political action thriller, with Quaid and Fox as U.S. Secret Service agents, and William Hurt as the U.S. President and replete with terrorists, bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, spies and a  truly breathless car chase through the narrow streets of Salamanca, Spain*, one is treated to multiple points of view on the same dreadful event.  Through rewinds, changes of perspective and rapid cutting the nature of the event and its participants are exposed and the idea of a single truth revealed.  Many reviewers have spoken of the Rashomon effect, the idea of examining the same event from multiple points of view, used in exemplary fashion in Akira Kurasawa‘s iconic film Rashomon and comparing the use of this technique in Vantage Point rather unfavorably. It should be said, however, that Kurasawa’s premise was that there is no single truth to be found, whereas in Vantage Point, the idea of illuminating a single, clear truth is the entire idea.  Once one accepts this rather reductionist point of view, and accepts that the film is not about intellectually challenging one’s post-modern sense of the world, one can sit back and enjoy its efforts to keep things moving at an entertainingly frenetic pace.  The acting is workable, the dialogue perhaps a bit wanting, and some of the devices admittedly a bit routine, not to mention the questionable and simplistic politics; nevertheless, a bit of breathless, stressful action, with not unreasonable special effects, is at times, just the ticket. (PR) (*: actually shot in Mexico)

See our post on the film Syriana, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, with William Hurt.

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