Thursday, August 11, 2011

Point Blank

Be warned, Hollywood will remake Point Blank and people will tell you that you should have seen the original French version. The premise is simple enough: a wanted man is in hospital, people want him out before he can talk to the cops so they kidnap a trainee nurse's wife and blackmail him into smuggling the man out of hospital.

The presentation of the story is signalled by the opening scene of a wounded man running. Pain and speed are two of the main themes in this thriller. The gangsters, the police and our hero, Samuel, race through Paris day and night, above and below ground, mostly on foot. Almost all the surviving players are wounded by the end of the film. Point Blank is also characterised by sudden plot twists that come at you out of nowhere and throw your conceptions of what is happening out the window. It is an edge of your seat thriller that doesn't let up until the final scene.

Like most thrillers there are a couple of spots where implausible things happen but the pace of the film is so fast that you'll forget instantly what they were. It is nice to see the cops using nothing more sophisticated than cellphones and close-circuit TV. One thing Hollywood won't be able to reproduce is the gritty, unattractive looking French cops. As Hugo points out when Samuel asks:
Why can't I be the cop?

You're too good looking.
Samuel is the centre of this film. He is no superhero, though he can run and usually pick correctly who to trust. No mean feat given all those stairs and the double crossing going on.

Ian's rating 5/5

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