Bombs, snipers, terrorist sects, an assassination attempt on the President of the United States (William Hurt), car chases, betrayals and lines of dialogue like “Where’s my brother?” comprise the restless, frenetic 90-minute running time of Vantage Point. Nevertheless, it’s mind-numbingly tedious, perhaps because the rhythm, the plot, even the seemingly indestructible veteran Secret Service agent Barnes (Dennis Quaid, our favorite aging star quarterback) seem lifted wholesale from any random episode of 24. Told from multiple perspectives, where the audience only has as much information as the character we’re following (such as Sigourney Weaver’s hard-ass news producer and Forest Whitaker’s camcorder-wielding tourist), the plot relies heavily on characters gaining access to information before we do. At least twice, Barnes is watching a video screen whose content is teasingly kept right off-camera, then gasps, “Oh my God!” before we dissolve to another character and have to sit through the entire action again, Groundhog Day-style, until we are underwhelmed by the reveal of the missing information. Those dangling carrots quickly grow tiresome. Vantage Point is yet another case of fractured narrative storytelling in service of a story that would be shamelessly cliché and obvious if it were told in linear sequence.
- Pete Travis
- Barry Levy
- Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Bruce McGill, Édgar Ramírez, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ayelet Zurer, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt
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