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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Point Blank Review

Point Blank Review
2011, 84 minutes
Rated R for strong violence and language

Point Blank is a French action-thriller directed by Fred CavayĆ© and is 84 minutes of pure action.  Now, many films go wrong by making the film all about the action and not about the characters, but this lean, mean film is stronger and better than just about every action movie that has come out in past few months because it balances the story, characters, and action.  Point Blank is about an innocent man who goes on a hunt for his wife's kidnappers and uncovers secrets and conspiracies.  The premise for the film is pretty generic, but everything else completely makes up for it; the strongest of these being the fantastic acting by Gilles Lellouche, Elana Anaya, and Roschdy Zem.  
These three actors do a phenomenal job at making their characters come alive and not leaving them to be generic, one-dimensional characters.  They fill their roles with emotion.  Lellouche and Anaya play a couple in the film and have completely believable chemistry.  They look like ordinary people and look like friendly, normal, relatable people that you would find on the street.  In the film when they are in peril, we root for them every step of the way.  Towards the end of the film, there is an especially tense scene in which I was on the edge of my seat gripping the armrest in the theater.  This scene involved one of the main characters and seeing them in peril made me uncomfortable because I liked them so much.
The action in this film was nothing to laugh off either as it was well-filmed and appropriate as in it happened at the right time.  Action is a hard thing to film nowadays as movies keep becoming more and more generic as they try to be more and more elaborate.  In this film, the action filming is nothing special, but that is why it works.  The director didn't try too hard.  He doesn't go for the Michael Bay-all-out-action style, he uses no "shaky camera" style, and he keeps the camera in a place where the audience can discern what is going on.  This simplicity made the action thrilling.
Overall, Point Blank is one hell of an action movie that kept me interested and entertained.  Go see this if you can find it at one of your local theaters.  You won't be disappointed.

-Joshua Handler

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