Sunday, 26 April 2009

Vantage Point *** (For The Crawley Observer)

You may be thinking 'I'm going to get bored seeing the same scene over and over again'. But it really is amazing how even though you witness the president of America being shot several times, it can have a different impact on you each time.

Pete Travis,who directed this film, has finally created an original intense action film using the same scene but with different storylines cleverly weaved together. As the film goes on, it begins to unravel, and just at the point where you're going to find out a major clue to the film, it rewinds its self and goes to another person's perspective leaving you on a cliff-hanger.
The quality of the storyline gives it an edge that does make it very successful. Not only is the plot intriguing but so are the cinematic ideas. The way in which the film rewinds back to reveal another witness of the president's shooting, along with collages of the scenes just seen makes this very interesting to watch and almost pleasing as you begin to get immersed with another viewer's story.

However and very frustratingly what lets this film down is the ending. Without giving too much away, you are very much reminded that this is a film about America with the references to 9/11, politics and bombings and by the quote 'this war will never end.' So in reality the final scenes would most likely never happen but this is cinema so, miraculously they do.
It's a shame because up until the last third of the film it's brilliant to watch. And I'm sure when you're in the cinema you'll hear everyone around you sigh at annoyance due to the disappointing and unsatisfying ending. My advice would be beat the crowds and leave early so you're just left with the powerful drama instead of being left with an ending that makes you want to 'cringe'.

That said, with Matthew Fox and Dennis Quaid playing believable bodyguards to the president, along with the innocence of Forest Whitaker who plays an unlikely hero the film is enjoyable to watch as their individual stories being to unravel. These actors play their parts perfectly for their roles within the story. But it can become quite a challenge because so many recognisable faces are included; you will be thinking 'where do I know him from?' So if you're not going to leave early, maybe you could play the game 'guess what film the actor was in' while the final scenes are being shown.

It is clear that the main focus on this film is American history and ideology. The resolution of the events that occur during this film, ranging from shootings to terrorism, almost have an idealistic feel to them but the morals are wholly serious. So just remember as you're walking out of the cinema, the action and narratives is faultless, well at least for the first two thirds of the film, and it would be a shame if you judged this film on its ending, which I know is sometimes difficult to avoid. I would recommend you give it a try.

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