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Vantage Point (SE)
DVD disk
Jul 9, 2008 By: Johnny Moreno
Vantage Point (SE) order
Director:
Pete Travis

Actors:
Dennis Quaid
William Hurt
Forest Whitaker

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Eight different people view the same assassination attempt differently. For cereal? You betcha.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The thing I really liked about Vantage Point was that there was no setup. The movie took off right out of the gate and kept the same speed throughout the flick, which I think is essential with a story like this. There were hardly any down moments where the pace ebbed and flowed and when there were moments without a lot of action, the tension built kept the movie rolling ahead. Ive got to say that for a PG-13 movie, there sure is a lot of bloodshed in the second half of the movie, which is where the movie really gets interesting and takes off. Also, the performances by Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox, as well as foreign actors Edgar Ramirez, Eduardo Noriega and the sexy Ayelet Zurer were all very solid and believable in their respective roles. William Hurt as the president also made me wonder if the guy can do any wrong. In any role, the guy is completely invisible and believable.

Seeing as how the narrative is told in different characters perspectives, I thought it was ultimately its downfall toward the last third of the movie. If were supposed to see a scene in one characters perspective, why are we then being shown another persons perspective? And Forest Whitakers character I just wasnt buying at all. Although he is the heart of the movie and his performance was good, his character caught EVERYTHING ON VIDEO! My God, the guy was right in the thick of it the whole time; his instinct and awareness in the movie was fucking otherworldly. He knew exactly where to follow the action the whole time, even after the assassination attempt.

Saying all that, I thought the writing and structure was very good though during watching, I felt as though we were supposed to care about certain characters in the movie. Thats all well and good but I think if that was the intention, it failed due to lack of time and background being spent on the character. And I cant stand this thing in movies where you put a kid in danger in order to grab your emotions. Its annoying, and this is coming from someone who hates kids. I find that when you resort to that, you cheapen the effect the scene is supposed to have. Also, in the end, we never get to find out the motivation the bad guys have for the attacks. If its just to show the world that the big, powerful West is vulnerable to an attack then I must say that its a big fucking copout.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with director Pete Travis: It was great to hear how the director took such a structured and frenetic script and applied it to film. Lots of good information here about locations and technical stuff.

Surveillance Tapes : A quick outtake of director Pete Travis firing some guns on set.

An Inside Perspective featurette: A really great, in-depth featurette that details the problems of shooting a film from different perspectives and doubling Mexico City for Spain. Not your standard ass kiss fest of actors and directors loving each other, we get to hear about character motivation from the actors point of view. Good stuff.

Plotting an Assassination featurette: Another great featurette with screenwriter Barry Levy and Pete Travis. This a great one due to the openness of Barry Levy discussing his thought process on how he created the story and Pete Travis translating whats on page to film.

Coordinating Chaos featurette: Whoever did the featurettes on this DVD really did a good job. This one tackles all the technical stuff in the film. Since theres a lot of action in the movie, the stunt crews had to work overtime on it.

Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A pretty decent thriller that in certain ways doesnt follow your typical thriller formula. Lots of action, suspense o plenty but in the end, disappoints when the story gets wrapped up in itself and becomes lost. If you happened to see this in theaters and enjoyed it, the 2 disc Special Edition will make you a happy camper.
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