Saturday, November 22, 2008

Paragraph Movie Reviews: Vantage Point

The premise of showing the same attempted presidential assassination from five perspectives is a novel one ripe with potential but also with storytelling dangers; on the whole, this movie avoided the pratfalls and mined the good stuff. Of course not all the segments are equally engaging, so the flow is a bit uneven, but a nice job is done of carrying the throughpoint with great suspense (they cut away to the next character at the most frustrating time, which means they did their job). The hitch of not giving any character enough screentime for us to bond with them is dodged by nicely overlapping the stories and having a strong cast, highlighted by Forest Whitaker's nice guy tourist and Dennis Quaid's shellshocked but kickass Secret Service agent (Matthew Fox is way outside of his limited comfort range, but it's not a deal-breaker). It's not perfect, there are some predictable bits and a lot of coincidences, but for the most part, it's intense and intricate and then capped off with a fantastic car chase.

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