Point Blank

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife


Starring: Gilles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem

Review by Robert Patrick

“Point Blank” is the ground beef of the meat market, if we’re measuring quality, and there is little doubt that the film borrows everything from “The Bourne Identity” and “Run Lola Run” to Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog. “Point Blank” has a pretty standard plot: nurse’s pregnant wife is kidnapped; nurse must acclimate to his aggressor’s rules; nurse unwillingly stumbles into a logjam of crooked cops and dangerous gangsters. “Point Blank” is a neck snapping, aorta thumping movie that poses one question, albeit, thematically, an unoriginal one:  “what would you do to get your wife back?” The answer is probably doing a lot of knuckle-headed stuff you wouldn’t do – slapping and pistol whipping people become commonplace for a once meek person, whom, from day to day, nary said or did a foul thing.

The poor nurse, named Samuel (Gilles Lellouche), is put through the proverbial ringer in order to get his pregnant wife back. The serpentine baddies want a package from him – in this case a dangerous person whom is in the hospital – before they give our wary protagonist his sweetheart back. The package is a one Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zem), a man of unknown origin, whom has the emotive capacity of a jaded greyhound and the acrimonious snap of a bear trap. Sartet has landed himself in this hospital, in a semi-incapacitated state, around a heavily armed task force. Samuel’s job is to get him out – and fast. Samuel manages to get the woozy Sartet out of ER and into the arms of freedom. The unlikely duo eventually work together, take on corruption headfirst, and get in lots of hand-to-hand combat situations. The plot of “Point Blank” isn’t very interesting, convincing, well written or particularly moving. This is the type of low rent action movie that we have seen before, sometime ago, only with a frazzled Mel Gibson, a sweaty Kurt Russell, or maybe even a disheveled and growling Harrison Ford, at the helm. Because these movies have beat a dead horse with a dead horse, and since there is nothing new to offer in another sloppy helping of the “ordinary-person-fighting-for-loved-ones genre,” a sense of apathy gets planted in the soil of the viewer’s mind – not to mention that the dialogue is so bad that it makes “First Kid” look like an Aaron Sorkin script.

“Point Blank” is entertaining enough, though, especially when it employs so many roof jumping scenes that it would make Peter Parker lift an eyebrow. There’s also a lot of running. Ninety-percent of the movie is running. Running in the streets, police stations, flats. Samuel is habitually exasperated (think Jack in “Lost”). This movie is reminiscent of “Running Scared,” Atari’s “Jungle Hunt,” and a fistful of cherry bombs. Nothing that you wouldn’t expect to happen happens, of course, and you may, depending on your mood, like or dislike this fact. You could definitely do worse at the theater, especially with some of this year’s super clunkers, but “Point Break” isn’t going to hydrate you from a long summer of bad movies, either. Proceed with caution. Expect lots of sweat soaked shirts, threats over phones, improbable gun-play. My money is on Ridley Scott remaking this next year with the typically reluctant yet ornery Liam Neeson at the wheel. But, with our luck, we’ll probably get Brett Rattner and a field mouse instead.

2.5 out of 5

Author: Rob Patrick

The program director of the Olympia Film Society, Rob is also a former San Diego Film Critics Society member. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. When he isn't curating a film festival, he is drinking rosé out of a plastic cup in Seattle or getting tattoos from Jenn Champion.

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