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Sure seemed like the Vantage Point trailer came out like three years before the movie.  It was a pretty compelling trailer, and I thought it did a good job previewing the movie without giving away too many important scenes.  I’m required, by law, to say that Vantage Point was Rashomon-like.  I’ll add that while I love the concept of Rashomon, I haven’t yet really enjoyed a movie using the technique, and yes, I’m including Rashomon.

Vantage Point tells the story of an international conference in Spain attended by world leaders.  As the President of the United States begins a speech in the middle of a square, shots rings out and he goes down.  The mysteries behind the shooting and ensuing chaos are slowly revealed as the events play out from the perspective of each of the main characters.

The ensemble cast is strong, with the likes of Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Matthew Fox, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, and Zoe Saldana (the chick from Drumline and Uhura in the upcoming Star Trek movie).

While the structure screenwriter Barry Levy uses may be complex, the plot isn’t, which makes for both a comprehensible story and one that disappoints.  Many scenes are compelling, as evidenced by them not being boring even after they flash for the third or fourth time.  Still, there are virtually no twists, and the story plays out in a pretty standard fashion.  Once the pieces are put together, the plot feels rather weak.

Three Stars

August 2008
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