Pros:great cast, lots of good action, original presentation
Cons:not an original plot
The Bottom Line: Even though we have seen a story like this before, the presentation was quite original and the acting as well as action made it quite good.
A terrorist attack on Americans. An attempt on the life of the President. Yes, we have seen it before, but the intent of the new film Vantage Point was to present a re-hashed story in a unique fashion. To do that, one event is experienced by 8 central characters, and the audience gets to see just how each one of them plays a part in the telling of the whole story. They sold the film as showing just how truth can vary depending on who is saying it, and what they have experienced up to that point. To take it one step further, the attempt is to provide a story that can be viewed many different ways, not revealing everything until the very end. Holding some key information close to the vest helps create the excitement that furthers the story and keeps the audience interested.
Recommend this product?
Vantage Point starts out as a news broadcast of a peace conference in Spain. The President of the United States has come to talk about diplomacy in the Middle East, and make large strides to fighting terrorism. Sigourney Weaver takes center stage at first, as what seems like a television producer, orchestrating the different angles and cameras for a live presentation of the conference. Through her various cameras we get a feel for what is taking place, and slide into the story that is about to unfold. For a time being, we only get to see what the cameras are focused on, and as the President approaches the podium, shots ring out and he drops. Soon after, in all of the confusion, two explosions go off, and we see one depiction of the events through the eyes of the production truck.
After that initial introduction of the story, the movie rewinds itself through several clips that has already happened, revealing that we are going back 23 minutes in time. This is where we get to see the same story, but from a different character; this time being the one of the secret service agents who turns out to be one of the more important characters to the story. Dennis Quaid takes on this part, and he brings a lot of drama to the scene, as someone who has saved the President before, but is not back for the first time since he was shot. We see his story, and that of additional secret service agent Matthew Fox, before the film goes into rewind mode yet again, and tells us the story of another character. This method is repeated several more times, giving us viewpoints (or vantage points) of more people until we are taken to the conclusion of the story.
With each character introduction, more of the story is revealed to the audience, and we get a stronger picture about what has happened and why it took place. One thing I should note, is that a lot of people in the audience became frustrated about the "rewinding" sequences, because it seemed like the movie was starting over every 15 to 20 minutes. I heard a lot of groans in the theater, but I thought it was necessary to make sure everyone knew we were going back in time each time it happened. Now I thought that it was a great idea to slowly reveal the story through these different views of the same event, and the acting really helped drive home the drama. The film was extremely action packed, and the pacing kept you really glued to the edge of your seat about what might happen next. Sure there was a lot of stuff that didn't seem too plausible in real life, but I was able to just enjoy this for what it was (a good action film), and was able to enjoy Vantage Point overall. It is one that I can easily recommend because of the originality of presentation, but at the heart is probably a story everyone has seen before.