Point Blank Reviews
If I've got the beginning of this film right, the woman is supposed to be about six months pregnant. We know this because she laments the idea of having to spend six weeks in bed, and the doctor tells her that pregnancy last nine months, not seven and a half. I think. It could be only seven months, which would put her five and a half months pregnant. But she is huge, and the baby has a much better chance of survival if she gives birth early than it would in real life. This, as you can imagine, bothered me quite a bit. It irritates me how seldom media gets pregnancy right, given how many chances there are to get it right. There's a Stephen King novella wherein he claims that Lamaze (though it isn't called that in-story) produces completely painless labour, which is ridiculous. I've always wondered why Tabby, who's always the first person to read his books, let him get away with that one.
But the idea that even a young and healthy woman like Nadia Pierret (Elena Anaya) might end up on bed rest at the end of a pregnancy. She has a hard time taking it easy, but her husband, Samuel (Gilles Lellouche), is determined. However, while he is at work, he helps save the life of a man, Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zem), who has been hit by a motorcycle. It turns out that Hugo is a member of a crime family, and since he's in the hospital, he won't be able to escape being arrested. In order to force Samuel to get Hugo out of the hospital and away from the police, they kidnap Nadia and tell Samuel that, if Hugo isn't freed, Nadia will be killed. And, of course, there's the risk that she will lose the baby. Samuel frees Hugo, all right, but he then sticks to him like glue to ensure that Nadia will be freed--alive. And it turns out that he's right not to have gone to the police, because the man who insists on handling the case is a bit on the corrupt side.
I'm not sure I go along with certain aspects of this plot, at least not completely, but it makes a heck of a lot more sense than most of the French movies I've watched. It's a pretty straightforward thriller, all things considered. The twist of the kidnapped pregnant wife is new, but the idea of an innocent man's being forced to help a criminal in order to protect something he loves is hardly unfamiliar. Stories of police corruption are pretty commonplace. How the corruption plays out is what doesn't entirely work for me, but I'm not surprised by its bare existence. So far as I know, the French police are not as notorious for corruption as, say, those of Chicago or Los Angeles, but there is no reason to believe that they're all completely innocent. Corruption happens everywhere. The form it takes here isn't even completely unheard of. I can name a few examples of it, and they aren't all limited to countries where you just assume the cops are corrupt--or cities where you assume it, either.
One of the things you're just supposed to take for granted in movies of this nature is that, when called on to do it, everyone is capable of things like leaping from rooftop to rooftop and standing off against armed thugs. This is not a Weird Damn French Crap trope; it's an action movie trope that appears to be independent of country of origin. I've seen it in movies made from the US to France to Korea. The person in the unusual situation still knows exactly what to do. It isn't a [i]Bourne Identity[/i] kind of thing, where Our Hero has amnesia and had actually once been trained for that sort of thing. It's implied that everyone--male or female--has that inside them, and when the moment arises, they will know what to do. Somehow, I suspect that this is seldom actually true. I think people who have watched too many action movies just end up getting themselves hurt in the unlikely event that they end up in this kind of situation at all.
Still, I enjoyed this movie inasmuch as I ever really enjoy action movies, which I must confess isn't a whole heck of a lot. I will say that what happens to Nadia throughout the picture is almost enough to make me doubt that she really needed to be put on bedrest in the first place. She goes through a lot over the course of the movie, and I think it's just about enough to send any woman into a miscarriage or premature labour or whatever you want to call it. I do like that they show a woman who has no compassion for another woman's pregnancy. We're considerably more used to the stereotype of the sisterhood of women. All women are sympathetic to all other women's problems, kind of thing, and that simply isn't true. Let's leave aside the existence of sociopaths, which we shouldn't. I'm not sure women are any more likely to sympathize with one another than men are, even though I think we like to think they are. That's one thing this movie does get right.