Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Martin Q. Blank (John Cusack) is only in his late 20s but has already risen to the top of his profession as a paid assassin. Since his CIA days, he has been a free-lance killer for big corporations and did not mind the work until recently. His rival Mr. Grocer (Dan Aykroyd) keeps pressuring Martin to team up with him, but the depressed young killer isn't sure he wants to continue his job, let alone form a partnership. Martin sees psychoanalyst Dr. Oatman (Alan Arkin) and tells him more than he ever wanted to know about killing. As a result, the doctor seems more interested in getting rid of Martin than helping him and so suggests that Martin relax by attending his 10th annual high-school reunion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Martin hasn't been home since he joined the Army. As he has a few unresolved issues from his high-school years, he hopes going home will help him make sense of his life. Chief among those issues is Debi Newberry (Minnie Driver), the girl he loved but stood up on prom night. Genuinely off-beat and energetic, this combination romantic comedy/ violent action thriller follows Martin's attempts to reconnect with the feisty Debi, now a disc jockey, who has never forgiven Martin for jilting her and who manages to get some small revenge on her radio talk show. When he tells her about his profession and plight, she disbelieves him as does everyone else. While he and Debi continually spar over that one painful night, Martin is still faced with completing his latest task, and he must also contend with his tough secretary, the persistent Grocer and the two other hit men who have been assigned to rub Martin out. … More
- R (For strong violence, language and some drug content.)
- Drama , Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense , Comedy
- Directed By:
- George Armitage
- Written By:
- John Cusack , Steve Pink , D.V. DeVincentis , Tom Jankiewicz
- In Theaters:
- Apr 11, 1997 Wide
- On DVD:
- May 19, 1998
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Critic Reviews for Grosse Pointe Blank
Despite some early indications from the two Cusacks and Arkin that it's going to be funny, it winds up an unholy mess that becomes steadily more incoherent -- morally, dramatically, and conceptually.
For what is essentially a one-joke movie, this has an awful lot going for it.
With its darkly comic sensibilities and morally flawed protagonists, this won't be to everyone's taste, but those who can get on its wavelength will appreciate the savory witticisms and dryly acute observations.
For John Cusack lovers, "Grosse Pointe Blank" is one of his best, an engaging showcase for his droll demeanor and a seamless blend of comedy and action. It's light entertainment, in spite of the body count.
L'une des comédies américaines les plus honnêtes et efficaces des années 90
Armitage encourages [Gen-Xers] to keep the skeptical attitude, but to also negotiate some sort of confusing middle ground between maintaining the image without "selling out".
It's the best date film I've seen in a long time: at least 12 people die.
Calling this blend of comedy and violence Tarantino lite may sound like a bash, but it isn't.
Great pace, strong dialogue, and a fun fresh angle on the life of a hit man.
Except for a few near-miss scenes, director George Armitage's romantic comedy hits the target.
As a whole, this film only succeeds in making extraordinary people and situations to look banal.
If you can ignore the tiresome romance and the incessant playing of largely inane music on the soundtrack, Grosse Point Blank has much to recommend it.
Audience Reviews for Grosse Pointe Blank
This sick, twisted little comedy is sweet in many ways and yet demented in all the ways that matter. The premise revolves around John Cusack as a hit man (so believable) going back to his ten year reunion in Michigan, and he gets back together with his ex-girlfriend. I will say that the chemistry between Cusack and Driver is off the charts, and in the end I actually found them to be a very cute couple. Though there's an evolution for Cusack's character, I still didn't see the awe factor in the grand romantic gesture. He is a trained, government employed killer! I don't want quirky, doe-eyed Driver ending up with someone who will be hunted down later in life, their happy ending nothing but a far off mirage in the dust! When it plays into its dark humor, Cusack works incredibly well as an everyman. Still, trying to get us, the audience, to sympathize with you when you've killed how many hundreds of people? That's stretching my imagination a little too thin.More
This pet project for star, co-writer, and producer John Cusack follows Martin Blank- a former CIA operative turned freelance assassin. He's generally good at his job, and it pays well, but lately his game has been a bit off, and he's starting to tire of it. Following the advice of his secretary and his nervous psychiatrist, he is urged to take a final job in his old hometown of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Incidentally, the time of the job coincides with his 10 year high school reunion, and, while he's not exactly excited about it, this gives him the opportunity to tie up loose ends with his past, namely reconciling with his school love whom he stood up on prom night and hasn't seen since. On top of all of that, he's got people out to kill him, and is being hounded by his persistent arch rival hitman who has an enticing business offer, and won't take no for an answer.
Man, for a romantic action comedy, that sure is one hefty plot! Thankfully the film goes down quite easy, and doesn't end up being quite as laborious and complicated as I've no doubt made it sound. It's breezy, funny (sometimes downright hilarious), quite charming, and feverishly entertaining. Yeah, there's a lot of cliched stuff going on here, but it blends together pretty decently, even though the film could have probably found a way to end that didn't involve delving into a typical action movie climax.
It does have a quite snazzy soundtrack though, and the score was done by Joe Strummer, so that's all awesome. John Cusack delivers a typically solid performance full of his trademark mix of charm, likability, and neuroses. His sister Joan is a scene stealing riot as the secretary, Alan Arkin is a lot of fun as the psychiatrist, Dan Aykroyd is wickedly funny as Martin's rival, and then finally we have Minnie Driver as the old flame Debi. A lot of people seem to not like her, but I think she's a decent actress, fairly attractive, and does decently here as the spurned woman with an understandable grudge.
The film really isn't groundbreaking, but it is quite well played and never dull. It's primarily a comedy, but the action is done decently too, with my favorite setpiece being the amazingly funny shootout at a convenience store.
Overall, this is a nice little entertaining gem. It's definitely a quirky 90s movie, and though it is flawed, it's still an enjoyable ride.
An entertaining if completely forgettable and too cute take of an assassin (John Cusack) who comes home to attend his high school reunion, and along the way he tries to relight the flame of a failed relationship with a radio DJ (Minnie Driver), all while trying to dodge a hit placed on him. It starts out fast, funny, and full of dark comedy, but by the time you reach about the 3/4 mark of it, you get the point and wish it would just end already. The perfect example of a movie that feels longer than it really is (only breaking 100 minutes or so). However, these are the kinds of films John Cusack has done his entire career, constantly underselling his outstanding feel for darkness and comedic timing, and instead settling for material that is not deserving of his status. As said, this is an okay film, certainly not bad, but it is just disappointing at the end of it that it has to be completely silly and, in the end, kind of incomprehensible.More
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