Let me break down Vantage Point‘s tagline, “8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth.” 8 Strangers: The people going to see this movie on week two. 8 Points of View: A twelve minute film shown eight times. 1 Truth: The studio has your money and you are pissed. This will probably be the worst film of the year – that people will like.
There is a peace summit to be held in Salamanca, Spain. The president of the United States is to attend, and security is on high alert. Within moments of the president taking the stage, a shot is fired. Panic ensues as the authorities attempt to assess the situation. Adding to the chaos an explosion erupts somewhere in the distance, and another within the venue of the peace summit shortly after. 8 people all have a different Vantage Point, and a different point of view. Someone has the answers.
So why should you see this movie? Let me count the ways. First, the film stars Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Edgar Ramirez, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. I’d say that is an all-star cast. Second, the trailer is pretty badass. Third, it’s February and what else are you going to see? So why shouldn’t you see this film? First, it stars Matthew Fox…and you know who likes Matthew Fox? No one. Also, Sigourney Weaver has about 2 flat minutes of screen time. Second, you have probably seen the trailer at least 10 times and this means that if you actually see the film, you will have now seen the same story a total of 18 times. Third, because the director basically thinks you are a moron.
Let me start out with the fact that director Pete Travis has had no experience whatsoever, in dealing with a major motion picture. The guy has made his living doing productions made for television, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is a problem though when a guy who is used to taking a 10 minute plot and stretching it out for a 30 minute episode, attempts to do the same with a 90 minute film. This is probably why if you were to take the first 10 and the last 20 minutes of Vantage Point, it would make a pretty good television show. So what does the director do wrong here? Besides stealing 90 minutes of your life, he insults your intelligence with his annoying storytelling device. He doesn’t think you are smart enough to figure out that you are watching the same event, during the same time period – just from a different perspectives. So how does he dumb it down for us lower mammals? He shows the event, fades to white, rewinds the event, fades to black, shows the time and then re-enacts the event. It would be alright to do this once or twice, but he does it like 5 times. It’s just plain annoying.
The acting wasn’t bad or anything, except for maybe Forest Whitaker. His role was just unnecessary and he played out like a pedophile. Denis Quaid performed as expected, as did Matthew Fox. Edgar Ramirez was a bright spot in the film, and is slowly making his name before his role in Escobar. The film somewhat redeemed itself near the end with a pretty awesome car chase. In the end though, an anti-climactic event shores up an anti-entertaining film. Between you and I, I would have felt much better about this film if I would have only seen the trailer.