‘Vantage Point’ does not live up to its trailer
I was so looking forward to seeing “Vantage Point,” based on the action-packed trailer and plotline.
William Hurt plays President Ashton, who is set to address a terrorist summit at an outdoor square in Spain. There are both supporters and protesters in attendance.
Dennis Quaid plays Secret Service agent Thomas Barnes, who took a bullet for the president in the past but now is paying a price for his efforts. His confidence has been shaken, and he is on meds to keep him in check.
He’s assisted by fellow agent Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox), who pulled some strings to get him back on assignment escorting the president, but is he up for the pressure to handle the job?
We’ll soon know when two shots ring out from a window, hitting the president square in the chest and causing the crowd to storm out of the plaza in chaos. Moments later, the entire stage blows up, killing dozens and injuring more. The president already was taken away by ambulance just before the explosion occurred.
OK, so up until now the movie has caught my attention. We see Forest Whitaker, as an American on holiday shooting pictures with his video camera, capturing the moment when everything occurs. Barnes checks out his footage along with GNN (I guess CNN didn’t want to be a part of this for legal reasons), where news director Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) shows footage of something that sends Secret Service agent Barnes running out like a madman.
I counted a total of 10 minutes that Weaver was onscreen, which is too bad. From this point, things get a little convoluted when we see everything go into rewind mode to get different perspectives, piecing together what leads up to the assassination of the president. I don’t think the director meant for the audience to laugh every time the scenes rewound 23 minutes to show the next person’s take on the same event, but laugh they did. It felt a little like I was watching “Groundhog Day,” but it was more tedious.
“Vantage Point” gets so bogged down bringing in so many different pieces to the puzzle, you wonder why the terrorists want the president dead. Or is he really? Once the annoying rewind scenes stop and the movie gets to move into the present, it does get better.
Brilliant character actor Bruce McGill gets even less screen time than Weaver, which is a big disappointment.
What is exciting are the chase scenes that occur toward the latter half of the film. Some of the scenes are pretty far-fetched, and why did Oscar winner Whitaker take this role in the first place? Maybe because tax season is in full swing and he needs a write-off?
I should have just watched the trailer again and saved myself the 88 minutes.
– Howie Nave is host/manager of The Improv comedy club inside Harveys and reviews films for seven radio stations throughout Northern California and Nevada, including Sirius Radio. He hosts “Howie’s Morning Rush” on Tahoe’s KRLT radio, and you can see his film reviews on RSN. For past reviews, blogs, and audio clips, visit http://www.HowieNave.com.
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