Review: Vantage Point (2008)

Directed by: Pete Travis | 90 minutes | action, drama, thriller | Actors: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker, Bruce McGill, Edgar Ramirez, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Eduardo Noriega, Ayelet Zurer, Saïd Taghmaoui, James LeGros, Eduardo Noriega, Richard T. Jones, Holt McCallany, Leonardo Nam, Dolores Heredia, Alicia Zapien, Justin Sundquist, Sean O’Bryan, José Carlos Rodríguez, Rodrigo Cachero, Guillermo Iván, Xavier Massimi, Shelby Fenner, Ari Brickman, Brian McGovern, Lisa Owen, Rocío Verdejo, Marisa Rubio

The President of the United States gives an important speech in a square in Salamanca, Spain. There is a large crowd and the Secret Service keeps a close eye on people when the president gets out of his car. So far everything is going well. But the moment the mayor of Salamanca announces the president, a shot sounds. The president has been hit. Not much later a big explosion follows on the square. What exactly happened and who is behind this attack?

With this simple fact, director Pete Travis manages to deliver a solid and exciting action thriller. The story is not innovative, but the way it is told is rarely seen. The film follows the attack on the President from eight different perspectives. After seeing the attack from the point of view of a particular character, the time is rewound to noon and we start over from the beginning but from a different perspective. Each time we see the event again and what happens afterwards with a particular character.

The film starts with director Rex (Sigourney Weaver). She leads her film crew from a mobile television studio to best record the President’s speech. Subsequently, the position of Secret Service Agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox) are shown. Other sides are highlighted from tourist Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker) who captured the entire event on his video camera, President Ashton himself and from the terrorists. In this way you as a viewer get a view of the whole situation and all the puzzle pieces slowly fall into place.

Director Travis works towards a climax with every storyline, culminating in an exciting and well-filmed car chase that we see in the last half hour. “Vantage Point” is an amusing and exciting thriller that is certainly worth seeing, especially because of the aforementioned car chase. A strong cast including Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt and Dennis Quaid also contribute to the positive viewing experience. All play their roles well, although the role of Sigourney Weaver could have been a bit bigger. A side note can be made about the credibility of some scenes and the plot twist, but whoever looks through it will certainly enjoy “Vantage Point”.

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