Point Blank

October, 2011, Action

 

 

This pulsating French import (not to be confused with Point Break, the 1967 film that converted Lee Marvin from villain to iconic anti-hero) has the one ingredient essential to this genre - - relentless pacing. Writer/director Fred Cavaye crams his storyline into just 84 minutes of hyper-paced mayhem, opening with a jolting foot race through The City of Light’s nocturnal streets and closing with a bang-up, nail-biting confrontation in a chaotic Parisian police station. In between comes a plot like a shot to the solar plexus; a male nursing student is forced to aid a wounded safecracker who has kidnapped the man’s very pregnant wife. That these two ultimately wind up as allies in a deadly game that has the audience cheering for both of them is testimony to Cavaye’s impressive skills as a screenwriter.

 

Wearing its urban grime proudly and careening through its perfectly captured grungy locations, Point Blank features a deadly chase through a Parisian subway station to rival Gene Hackman’s manic pursuit of a drug dealer in The French Connection while veteran French actors Gilles Lellouch and Roschdy Zem create the perfect felonious ying/yang…a good man discovering he can do bad things when forced to and a bad man who does at least some good while doing well.

 

Cavaye wrote and directed a previous thriller entitled Anything For Her that Oscar-winning writer Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Crash) adapted for American audiences as a vehicle starring Russell Crowe entitled The Next Three Days. Based on his work in Point Blank, movie-goers in the states should see Cavaye’s movies in their original version, not as mediocre re-makes.

 

The Verdict? A gritty, perfectly paced Gallic thriller. If you can’t find it a theater, look for it on Netflix or pay-per-view.

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