Point Blank stars two Marvel alum, Frank Grillo (Crossbones) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon). A remake of the 2010 French film of the same name, it is a throwback Gauntlet style movie with nods throughout to such vintage action classics as Assault on Precinct 13 and To Live and Die in LA. Even the soundtrack is retro with songs from Black Flag, Grandmaster Flash, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, and Kid n’ Play.
As always, we try to keep things as spoiler free here so you can still enjoy all the twists and surprises in the film. The story revolves around career bad guy Abe (Grillo) and expectant father and nurse Paul (Mackie). This unlikely pair are thrust into a do or die situation created by the high profile shooting death of the District Attorney. Cops, dirty cops, gangsters, fences, hitmen, and the mob are all vying to be the first to get to apparent assassin Abe who happens to be residing in the hospital due to injuries sustained in escaping the DA’s house after the murder. If this sounds a bit convoluted, it is. While the basic plot is as straight forward as it gets (a nod to the single minded vintage action films it is emulating) the script and character motivations require a Frommer’s Guide. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie for the most part, but there was the feeling that this could have been a really great film with just a little more care taken in the script or editing.
There is a standout performance from supporting character “Big D” portrayed by Markice Moore. Being the obvious mouthpiece for the director Joe Lynch, he plays a bit with the audience by nearly breaking the fourth wall to explain all the films that inspired Point Blank. Going so far as to watch Sorcerer with Abe and Paul and extolling the virtues of this under appreciated classic that was unfortunately ignored in the box office due to being released at the same time as Star Wars. By the way, if you have never seen Sorcerer, do yourself a favor and check it out!
As Grillo has established himself as sort of the go to guy for this type of story, get character A to destination X while avoiding being killed, captured, or worse, he delivers his usual steely performance as an unstoppable badass. Mackie does a good job of keeping up even if, as a nurse, he isn’t cut out for this type of adventure. I loved the non-stop pacing and bits of humor thrown in. Judging by the credits, which are full of characters you never get to see onscreen, there was heavy editing and rewrites that went into making this film. It would be interesting to see if the is a director’s cut or a longer version that maybe makes a bit more sense out of the motivations for some of the characters.