Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vantage Point: Flawed but Fine

Hey, I just saw Vantage Point on DVD. The critics didn't much like it, but, once again, I didn't much agree with them.

In fact, I thought Vantage Point was pretty good. Kept me guessing with good twists and lots of action. A refreshingly different kind of assassination movie - especially in tune with the complexities of our age, in which the bad guys are far from dummies.

Two points I did have a little trouble with -

1. William Hurt played both the President and his double. Now, I can understand the people in Spain, in the crowd, not knowing the difference. But the event was televised on GNN - a CNN equivalent - with close-ups to boot. How would the double, however much he looked and sounded like the President, have fooled the American people and everyone in the news business? (This flaw could have been dealt with by setting up the news coverage as unable, for whatever tech or security reason, to deliver close-ups of the President with decent sound.)

2. I guessed Matthew Fox (Agent Taylor) was the bad guy as soon as he told Dennis Quaid (Agent Barnes) that he, Fox, would check something out. Now, I think making Fox the bad guy was an ingenious move, given that we know him best as Jack Shephard on Lost, who is good, through and through. But something in that scene between Fox and Quaid gave it away, at least to me.

Nonetheless, if was a fine movie. With an especially good part played by Forest Whitaker, who never disappoints. (Also good to see Richard T. Jones - Agent Ellison from The Sarah Connor Chronicles - playing Agent Holden in Vantage Point.)

PS: My wife had trouble with an additional point in the movie: Why did the terrorists want to take the President alive? Didn't bother me, though. I thought that, with these more intelligent than usual terrorists, we're supposed to assume that they understand that holding a US President hostage gives you a better hand to play than killing the President.

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