Monday, March 31, 2008

Vantage Point

I love going to movies. Even a horrible movie like Sweeney Todd is kind of fun, in a masochistic sort of way. For the movie experience to not be enjoyable, the movie has to actively try to annoy me. That's what Vantage Point does -- it's a good movie that tries so hard to annoy that it succeeds in being a bad movie.

At the heart of Vantage Point is an action movie, with a small group of characters either protecting the president or attempting to kidnap the president. There's a few twists, some explosions, a fair bit of action and chase scenes, and a wholly unbelievable plot. Very typical for the genre, and fully capable of being very entertaining with suspension of disbelief and immersion in the film. I'd like to see that movie, in fact.

Unfortunately, what I saw last night at the Clyde was more farcical than dramatic. To add suspense (I suppose) the filmmaker decided to cut the action into six or seven short films, each shot from another main characters viewpoint. Each of these lasts about 10 minutes, and then there's a longer conclusion, where the action proceeds more normally -- concurrently from the characters viewpoint, but shown in cuts. So, what you get is a 10 minute opening sequence with an overall view of the first 1/2 of the action, with horrible acting by Zoe Saldana as a moronic newscaster. Bang, Bang and the presidents dead, then BIG explosion and (fortunately) the newscaster's dead, too.

Then, without warning, the film goes into rewind mode, like a super-fast VCR, and we're told: "23 minutes earlier". Now we follow Dennis Quaid as a secret service man of utter dedication. Bang, Bang and the presidents dead, then BIG explosion. Again with the rewind, and we follow another character. Bang, Bang and the presidents dead, then BIG explosion. Again with the rewind....

After the first couple times, half the audience was audibly groaning with every rewind. It's a shame, because the "dramatic" presentation was really unnecessary and merely got in the way of the story. Overall, the movie doesn't quite drop to the level of Why Bother?, but it doesn't rise to A Shot in the Dark level either. There's a Single Shot in there somewhere if the producers want to re-edit the film, but for now I'm giving this one a Drip.


Movies on Whidbey Island.

No comments:

Video, Live Cams, Stories, Art, and much, much more from Whidbey Island