Vantage Point (PG-13)

Drama 90 February 22, 2008
By Scott Foundas
Set in Spain during an international counterterrorism summit, Vantage Point depicts an assassination attempt on the president of the United States from the perspectives of five witnesses and the members of the terror cell responsible for the attack. It's a cast of characters the likes of which haven’t been seen together since Airport ’79: a hard-bitten TV news director (Sigourney Weaver), a Secret Service agent (Dennis Quaid) back on the job for the first time since he took a bullet in the line of duty, a conveniently camcorder-equipped American tourist (Forest Whitaker), and old POTUS himself (stiffly played by William Hurt). And I haven't even gotten to the terrorists — a cabal of suitably brown-skinned jihadists straight out of central (Asia) casting. The action is broken down into 23-minute segments that, mercifully, unfold in something less than real time. Then, as if God Himself has hit the rewind button, everything we've just seen flits by in fast-reverse and we see it all again through a different character's eyes. Each new piece of Vantage Point's narrative jigsaw is supposed to tell us something we didn't already know, but most just feel like deja vu, en route to an orgiastic third-act car chase during which the multiple story threads converge in a way that makes Paul Haggis seem like a master of Balzacian realism.
Pete Travis Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Shelby Fenner, Ari Brickman, Rodrigo Cachero, Dolores Heredia, Richard T. Jones Barry Levy Neal H. Moritz Sony Pictures Releasing

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