7 February 2019 | djmayonnaisemovies
A gripping Viet Nam DRAMA
My review of POINT MAN.
First, let's be clear: Point Man has a budget. You won't see any actors you've heard of (yet) and if you're looking for ten million dollar Hollywood pyrotechnics you should probably move on. In fact, this film should probably be marketed as a drama rather than an action, as Vision/Sony's trailer leads us to believe. This is a high-stakes, dramatic gambit set with the Vietnam War as the backdrop.
But none of the budget constraints (I judge it at 3mil) have any real effect on the story, which is the best part of this film. Protagonist Casper and antagonist Meeks are well crafted and bounce off of each other dynamically throughout the film. The supporting cast round out nicely. The acting is stellar. Christopher Long is mesmerising as the film's lead. There are no real weak points in the cast.
Point Man is a departure from the classic Viet Nam films of the 1980s and 1990s we're used to seeing from American cinema; it's not a heavy-handed political criticism of the war and it's not a propaganda piece. At its core it's an ethical conundrum embedded in the tapestry of the American conflict in Southeast Asia. It's a Kantian dilemma with palm trees and gunfire.
If you are looking for a 100mil studio feature, Point Man may disappoint you. If you're concerned with narrative and performance - and originality in a cinematic landscape littered with shameless derivation - give it a go. You may find yourself a gem.