22 February 2008 | phantomtristan
The all-seeing eye
As the Bourne series raises the bar for action films, and audiences balk at two-plus hour runtimes, the filmmakers of Vantage Point seem like they are trying to bring a fresh, new, unconventional take on the action/thriller genre. Though it may annoy some people, I felt the new take turns Vantage Point into a taut terrorist thriller.
The new take or approach is jumping right into the moment (everything is already planned out, people and weapons in place, etc.) of the action and then telling it from eight different points of view. This is where some people may be mildly irritated because after you see one point of view everything is suddenly rewound and shown from the next person's point of view (this is done six times) before they all converge into a thrilling finale filled with one massive adrenaline-fuelled car/chase sequence.
Because of the complex twists and turns of the plot and characters I will be brief, very brief actually, on the plot. It starts with a TV network covering a large gathering of leaders from all over the world (including the President of the United States) who have come together to form an alliance against the war on terror. At the beginning of this meeting the US president is assassinated as he takes the stage, and it begins replaying the assassination through all the different points of view. The editing must be commended in this film as it blends all the points of views so sophisticatedly you cannot help being engrossed, and the star-studded cast includes Dennis Quaid, Mathew Fox, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt, and Sigourney Weaver simply adds to everything.
In the theater I was watching some people called out their annoyance of "again?!" on the fifth rewind, which I find amusing as the filmmakers are simply trying to come up with something new in these sequel-ridden times. And probably as those same people say Hollywood is "out of ideas" they get angry when it tries something "different" and would rather go spend their money on Spider-man 8.
I felt Vantage Point was an intelligent thriller, and yes it had its' share of implausible plot points, but these were minor as the new technique makes you feel like you have an all-seeing surveillance system. I kind of felt like I was putting a puzzle together, piece by piece, and as you see a new point of view it adds more to the story and just when you think you have it figured out it changes again.