Monday, March 10, 2008

Vantage Point

ALMOST: (Pete Travis) What serves as a intriguing and intense preview completely falls short as a feature film. Vantage Point, the story of the assasination of a US President at a Peace Conference in Spain, is a fascinating idea with a poorly executed screenplay. The idea is that the as the President takes the podium, a fatal gunshot and ill-intended bombs send a message to shut down US arrogance and ignorance on the subject of foreign policy. But what seems an act of simple terrorism unfolds as a massive plan to deliver hate and twisted violence to anyone in their way. Vantage Point's hour and a half is filled with plenty of gunshots and bloodshed, but rarely any valuable dialogue or plot development. Characters intertwine, but rarely impress, exept for Dennis Quaid's Thomas Barnes, a veteran bodyguard who serves as the single dynamic character in the film. Forget the phenomenal actors in roles easily forgotten, such as president, William Hurt and bystander Forest Whitaker. Their characters continually raise the question of 'why were they in this movie?' Overall, VP is entertaining. It offers intense action and suspense from an idea that is fascinating. It's downfall is failed execution. As given away by the title, the plot is illustrated from multiple points of view. They all begin from the same moment, which becomes monotonous and boring, and they drag out the movie's intro into what should be the meat of the film. Several times, you'll wish for the story to keep going, but instead prepare to experience stalled suspense, not escalated interest. Don't bother with the arm and leg this one costs to the see on the big screen. It's special effects and empty characters can wait for DVD. Do give Quaid credit for his performance. He is honest and convincing in a role that could have been as equally dull as the rest of the movie if played by someone else.