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Sunday 9 October 2011

Burl reviews Point Blank! (2010)

Hi, Burl here with a review! No, this isn’t the great John Boorman picture of the late 1960s, but a Gallic concoction of the same title! But the plot is totally different, so don’t go worrying, as I briefly did, that this is some sort of remake! (The Boorman movie was already sort of remade as Payback, starring that loony-tune Mel Gibson!)

This Point Blank is an entirely different plate of cod! It seems a man is on the run from gun-toting thugs in Paris, and he gets hit by a motorbike! He’s sent to the hospital and hooked up to tubes, but the thugs are still after him; and when the police discover that he’s a career thief, they’re on his tail too! One thug attempts a homicide by that classic method of cutting some tubes, but the thief is saved by a nurse-in-training named Samuel!

Well, one thing leads to another, and Samuel’s very pregnant wife is kidnapped, and to save her Samuel is forced to spring the thief from the hospital and out from under the noses of les flics! From then on, as Samuel discovers who his true enemies are, the plot becomes a series of chase scenes and suspense bits, with an increasingly desperate male nurse just trying to find his wife! It’s not a bad idea for a movie, and many of the suspense bits and the action scenes are well handled! 

The nurse is a pretty sympathetic character, and a genuine everyman who doesn’t suddenly develop awesome fistfighting skills out of nowhere, ha ha! The thief is a pretty good bad guy/good guy amalgam, but we don’t learn much about him beyond that! And the bad guys are a pretty hissable bunch, although some of their strategies are almost laughable in their stupidity! I know I laughed pretty hard, ha ha! (And I’m being deliberately vague about who the bad guys are – it’s extremely obvious, and it’s not kept a secret for very long, but since this movie hasn’t got much in the way of narrative turns, I’ll leave that one as fresh as I can for you potential viewers out there!)

But there’s nothing very cutting-edge about the movie! It’s pretty boilerplate stuff, and there’s not much that sticks with you after it’s done! French action movies come in two types, it seems to me: the over-the-top ones that Luc Besson usually has something to do with, and all the rest! This one is totally non Luc Besson, so it doesn’t go to crazy extremes trying to imitate classic Hong Kong action, which is a blessed relief; but on the other hand it doesn’t do a whole lot else either!

On balance I’d say it’s a pretty decent action picture, more realistic than most, and a fine way to while away eighty-three rapidly-paced minutes – well, less actually, since the end credits seem to be about six minutes long on their own! I’m going to give this one two aged, angry policewomen – a neither-here-nor-there rating which fits this particular movie perfectly! Ha ha!

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