Thursday, June 18, 2009

'Vantage Point' Movie Revew

Recently caught this one.

A year over due I know, but I got to watching it some time last year and I bailed in the first few minutes. It seemed to be one of those high action drama movies, but upon some requests and bickering I finally watched it and was actually not what I expected at first.

Vantage Point resides around President Henry Ashton who arrives in Salamanca, Spain to promote an international treaty designed to combat global terrorism... basically. At least we believe it is the President until it is revealed that the President was doubled?

The Movie begins with one of my favorite actresses Sigourney Weaver. She brought a lot of on screen presence and she executed her scenes very professionally. She played a media broadcaster held up in the background monitoring the media from all angles. She plays a convincing role. As a viewer bringing the media perspective in the beginning was probably the most suitable seeing as the media gives a world perspective. The media storyline was also one of the shortest perspectives shown and the only perspective left unresolved.

(Basically if you've seen the movie already you can skim through the plot)
The Plot (To sum up everything)

President Henry Ashton arrives in Salamanca, Spain to promote an international treaty for preservation against global terrorism, but is shottwice suddenly before he gives his speech. An explosion in the distance is heard alarming the already scattered and confused crowd throwing everyone into havoc. Soon after the podium is destroyed in an explosion detaining the majority of the people within near proximity.

GNN television news producer Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) loses her fellow reporter in the blast Angie Jones played by Zoƫ Saldana.

Secret Service agents Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox), aid the President before the blast and take off separate entities throughout the plot. It is later found out that Kent Taylor has been living a double life and is part of the reason why the unfortunate events have been occurring. It only takes a media coverage of Taylor safe and sound after running into the blast for Barnes to realize his deceit and lead a car chase to stop his once trusted partner.

Enrique, a Spanish police officer assigned to protect the mayor of Salamanca catches his girlfriend Veronica embracing a stranger. After confronting her, she convinces him of her love for him and he hands her a bag of some sort. After the President is shot he is detained by Thomas Barnes who assumes he knows something behind the President's attempted assassination at the same time he glances Veronica throwing a bag under the podium which later explodes.
Enrique excapes police captivity under suspicion and is lost through the chaos but is later killed.

Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), a standard bypasser who took a video a recording of the entire assassination attempt also had an interaction with a little girl named Anna and her mom and is also caught in a conversation with a guy who called himself Sam who is later revealed to be one of the terrorists. Howard safe guards a wondering Anna after the explosion, but is unable to keep her out of harms way for long.

The revelation that the President was made aware of an alleged assassination attempt is revealed and thereby the double is put in his place. The terrorist remains one step ahead of him and figures out their B plan and the President manages to get himself abducted by the assumed terrorist and is placed into an ambulance van owned by the terrorists.

The terrorist leader Suarez (believed to be Sam speaking friendly with Howard) is in league with Veronica and they both hold hostage the brother of Javier earlier seen with Veronica who seemed to have a romantic interest in each other. It is later reveled that they are using Javier's brother for him to do their bidding with his sharp shooting skills and he later is seen abducting the President. The terrorist in order to meet ends meet tie up all their loose ends by killing Javier's brother anyway and anyone else seen as unnecessary.

Agent Barnes tracks down rogue agent Taylor just after Enrique is killed by Javier after he wouldn't reveal his brother's whereabouts. Taylor also kills Javier after claiming he no longer had any use for him, but is unable to escape Agent Barnes custody after rendering his car immobile. Agent Barnes is finally able to express his betrayal towards his once trusted friend who mutters dying words of war under his breath.

After the terrorists get away in the emergency vehicle, the President surprises them and the are face to face with a frantic Anna attempting to cross the street and freezes upon seeing the van.
Suarez swerves the van in time for Howard to rescue Anna and return her to her mother.

Agent Barnes rescues the President. It is mentioned that Agent Barnes took a bullet for the President a few months ago.

The End

Basically I loved the beginning of this movie. The story lines were well built up everything came together in it's own time and the pieces fit together from different view points.

I loved the remote control held by Suarez, used the throw agent Barnes off course by using his remote to turn on the fan blowing the window curtain. It was a surprise finding out that agent Taylor went rogue. It made sense, instead of a supporting friend bringing a fragile Barnes back on score after his near death risk for the President it turned out that Barnes was in the perfect fragile shape to throw him the curtain bone his way. He did seem like a wreck, like his first day on the job.

I actually believed Javier and Veronica had a thing going on. I first believed that Javier was in league with Veronica and she was just using Enrique to get the bag across, but then there was the whole 'Javier brother' thing going on that I thought was cool at first.

The car chase between Agent Barnes and Agent Taylor was exciting, there were times I wondered how Agent Barnes kept going after he was knocked around a couple of times. I also questioned how Agent Taylor was able to figure out Agent Barnes was on his tail by just looking into his mirror. Good vision.

Although the beginning plot was well introduced, the endgame was a bit of a bummer. (pun intended).

Everything meshed together so well with the media, the President, the agents and the terrorists, but after a while some story lines felt a bit pointless.

The Anna-Howard storyline was cute at first, but I didn't really appreciate their characters much nor their story lines and after a while some of the scenes became predictable. I wondered how Howard's video camera remained in good shape after the explosion and why he went running down the street like a madman trying to capture some footage. It would have been okay if he had some sort of history in reporting or was looking for his big story, but there were a lot of things that just didn't add up.

When Anna went screaming for her mommy I sort of got upset there so much that it annoyed me.

The ending when Suarez was forced with the decision of running over Anna with his van or swerve to save her life left me disappointed when he choose to swerve. Frankly it was out of character. He spent all day killing innocent people, probably including innocent children and when he's faced with taking another life that would ensure his innocence he grows a conscience. i really didn't buy it.

It was also surprising the small amount of terrorists involved in everything that took place that entire day. Did they just sit up in their garage one day and planned everything. It lacked the necessary back story to the plot and it left me disappointed.

Throughout the movie I kept up with the action, the continuing rewinding of the subplots and all the excitement only to leave me with an unsatisfactory finale.

If it had a different ending maybe I would rate it differently.

Here's a thought, maybe Suarez could have kept on going showing his ruthless side in time for Howard to save Anna and maybe they could have used anther interesting way to put a stop to the terrorist. Anything but this ending which was completely unbelievable in my view.



Two out of Five Stars

Grade D-


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