Grosse Pointe Blank Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 20, 2007
John Cusack at his best. One of the best actors of his generation.
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
November 4, 2006
Professional contract killer Martin Blank decides to stop off at his high school reunion while out on a job and rekindles an old flame in the shape of Minnie Driver. Part romantic comedy, part post-Tarantino noir, this is the kind of cinematic hybrid that can sometimes go disastrously wrong (Gigli anyone? Thought not....) but this brilliantly written example is not one of them. The dialogue is witty, snappy and insightful, it has likeable characters played by a great cast headed by John Cusack at his most charming and who shares a real chemistry with his co-star. There are also some great supporting performances by Dan Aykroyd as a rival hitman, Alan Arkin as Blank's unwilling psychiatrist and Joan Cusak as his kind of post-modern old school noir style secretary. Add brisk no nonsense pacing and well handled set pieces and you have a smart and funny black comedy that works on every level.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2010
2 stars
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2007
A pretty good funny film, having heard quite a bit it didn't quite live up to the hype for me. However it still has some funny scenes and one liners!
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2009
This was such a great blend of comedy and action. It's so funny to see John Cusack be this totally normal guy in the movie and then stab a Russian hitman with a pen at his high school reunion. The movie also has one of the best soundtracks ever, only making it more enjoying. I just enjoyed the fact that it didn't take itself too seriously and just tried to be a fun movie.
Super Reviewer
½ January 13, 2010
Very cool. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2010
A charming little mid-90's indie comedy with a bit of action thrown in.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2009
"Even A Hit Man Deserves A Second Shot!"

Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Excellent original black comedy about a depressed assassin, Martin Q. Blank (Cusack in one of his best roles yet) who decides to attend his 10th year high school reunion and hook up with his ex (Driver) who he stood up on prom night and fighting off a rival hitman (a glossy-eyed Aykroyd) who wants to unionize. Hilarious screenplay (co-written by Cusack and Tom Jankewicz, D.V. De Vincentis and Cusack's real-life best friend Steve Pink) and deft comic performances combine perfectly with smart direction by George Armitage. Best, and surprisingly poignant, scene is Cusack at mid-reunion deciding to chuck his "career" when facing a former classmate's adorable baby with Queen's "Under Pressure" underscoring the moment and David Bowie's haunting vocals; had me verklempt.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2006
4 stars just for a great use of the phrase "skull fuck"
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2007
Although I don't think it's that funny per se, I am (unreasonably) attracted to John Cusack and that somehow makes up for everything. Reminded me a lot of Tarantino but romantic at the same time...but I don't really think it was up to scratch in either of these categories. Oh, but I always welcome a Michigan movie.
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2006
A fresh, bright, original, charming, stylish and outragiously hilarious action comedy. John Cusack is teriffic. Minnie Driver is marvelous and refreshing. Alan arkin is hilarious. Packs plenty of bullet-riddled action, great laughs and excellent surprises. A great soundtrack of 80's tunes. Smartly written and performed finely. A non-stop fun ride that brings out great entertainment pleasure.
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2007
A plucky, creative and off-beat comedy that really takes John Cusack into a whole new realm. His performance is outstanding, and this movie is just one great scene after another. Dan Aykroyd and Minnie Driver are great as well, and this movie should unseat the "teen classics" like Sixteen Candles, as it's one that's actually worth watching over and over again.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
A fairly good comedy thriller. It's a little too smart-assed to be completely charming and the film's never quite as quirky or as funny as it strives to be. The Coen Brothers could possibly have made something special out of it.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2007
Cool soundtrack. Enjoyable movie.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2007
I wasn't a huge fan.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2007
Martin Blank: They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they've all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? "I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been?

There is no real reason why this movie should be in my top 3 of all time. It is simply a movie that just clicks with me and makes me feel like having a continuous loop of it would be just fine.

It fits itself into my favorite genre of movie, a dark comedy, and a hit man-comedy at that. It's very funny, has a great soundtrack, some very funny characters, and some pretty cool action scenes.

Martin Blank: If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

John Cusack is Martin Q. Blank, in a great performance as a man who became detached from life, ditched his previous life in Michigan, and became a contract killer. He has a handful of charisma as well as a dark undercurrent and some paranoia issues that create a well balanced character.

Debi: Some people say forgive and forget. Nah, I don't know. I say forget about forgiving and just accept. And... get the hell out of town.

Minnie Driver is perfect as the lost girl in Martin's life, who plays as a good foil to his character. She is charming and funny, and very different in relation to the other people still in her Michigan town.

Mr. Grocer: Easy there Chief, I don't see Hollow-Point Wound Care on the menu.
Martin Blank: Why are you in Detroit? Redwings need a new goon?

Dan Akroyd is also great in a complete bizarre role as a rival hit man to Martin, and has a great style of chemistry with Cusack as well.

And then there are great little roles from Joan Cusack, Alan Arkin, Hank Azaria and Jeremy Piven, all with some of the best moments in the movie.
Marty: Debi's house.
Paul: Kinda crept up on you, didn't it?
Marty: No, you drove us here.
Paul: [pause] Yep.

I love the concept, a hit man is disillusioned with his work and decides to attend his high school reunion and re-evaluate his life. Of course there is also a job to be done in his town, as well as rivals awaiting him.

I also love how care free the responses are concerning hit men. No one takes Martin serious when he tells them what he does and in relation to the other people at the reunion, it seems like Martin would actually win the award for the most interesting life after high school.

Mr. Newberry: What have you been doing with your life?
Marty: Uh... professional killer.
Mr. Newberry: Oh! Good for you, it's a... growth industry.

The soundtrack of this movie is great. It got me into The Violent Femmes as well as a few other bands. I am not a big fan of 80s music, but this movie somehow manages to get the only bands and songs I like that had hits in the 80s and compile 2 great soundtracks albums.

Martin Q. Blank: Oh, the reason I called... Could you find out who else is in town? I've made two spooks and a ghoul already, so if they've double-booked the job, and/or they're going to kill me, I'd like to know. If you could find that out, that'd be great.

The direction by George Armitage also works very well. He combines all the elements of a dark/romantic comedy with an action thriller. The action is a lot of fun, with some memorable scenes, including a particular fight scene that is very gritty and real and a shootout in a mini mart. And this is all mixed once again with the great soundtrack as well as live vibrant colors fitting the nature of the comedy and situation.

Mr. Grocer: So, what are you gonna do? You gonna Throw that gun at me?
Marty: No... Maybe!
Mr. Grocer: How 'bout this? How 'bout I sell you a piece for a hundred Gs?
Marty: OK! Front me?
Mr. Grocer: Deal!

I love watching this movie. It moves quickly, has a number of memorable scenes, quick and sharp dialog written by Cusack and his friends, with a fun high concept and good characters.

Martin Blank: You're a handsome devil. What's your name?
Super Reviewer
September 7, 2007
Funny flick that doesn't even try to take itself seriously. Cusack hits it with his deadpan humor and the addition of Aykroyd is a good mix.
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