Vantage Point - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Vantage Point Reviews

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November 25, 2017
Despite an engaging premise about a presidential assassination and thrilling action sequences, "Vantage Point" neglects to develop its characters and tests audience's patience with a repetitive story arc.
October 26, 2017
Not a bad little action/suspense yarn held together by Quaid.
August 7, 2017
The fifteen minutes prior to the attempted assassination of the President of the US while in Spain, is repeated from several viewpoints. It's interesting.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2017
I have no fucking clue why, but I've wanted to see this movie for the longest time. Perhaps not the longest time, but this supermarket I used to go to had this DVD for, like, $5 for a time and I actually wanted to get it. I mean, it's $5, there's no real risk. The worst thing that could happen is that I think this is a dreadful movie but, since I spent $5 on it, it's not like it's any real loss. Thankfully, though, I didn't ever take the plunge and buy the DVD. Netflix backed me up. Moving on, though, part of me often wonders what I would do if I were a secret service agent in charge of protecting the president of the United States. I would probably resign if I had to protect the current president. I dislike that man so much that I would not be able to do my job properly and, if someone came up to shoot him, I'd just step aside and let it happen. That may sound callous, but the damage this man doing and the effect his party's healthcare plan (if it passes) is gonna have on people, to me, makes this a fair trade. So fucking sue me. But I digress, the concept of this film is certainly interesting. I'm not gonna say it's super unique, since it's not, but I do like the approach of telling the story of this terrorist attack and everything that led up to it from the perspective of six different people. Some are, as I mentioned, told from the perspective of a secret service agent, who's dealing with some PTSD from an incident a year prior to the summit in Spain. The president is one of t I'm not gonna go over everyone who's viewpoint you get to see, because I'll be here forever, but everyone who's relevant in one way or another to the shooting, bombing and abduction of the president is showcased. Having said that, I think the story being structured this way brings a few issues. This is a problem in that I think the movie jumping from vantage point to vantage point as the most inopportune times, like whenever there's a big revelation and they just cut away before showing you what it is. I think that hurts the pacing, because then they go back to 23 minutes prior to the attack each time and you're like 'ok, here we go again'. And I get why they did it this way, I totally get it. That way all of these characters and their stories converge at the same time and you finally get the conclusion you've been waiting for. But, and I must say this again, part of me can't get over the fact how that sort of killed the pacing to me. Killed it is too strong of a word, it hurt the pacing more than killed it. While I wouldn't say the movie was good, since its plot is a little too convoluted for my tastes with the whole misdirection involving the explosion at the summit, I found the whole thing exciting to watch. If there's one thing you can say about this movie it is never boring. While I already mentioned the issues I had with the structure, in a way, I feel it also benefits the film. I know I said it hurt the pacing, but what I mean by that is being invested in finding out what's going on only for them to pull the rug from under you. In terms of how the film flows, going from viewpoint to viewpoint keeps the film exciting and fast paced. The narrative isn't outstanding, but it certainly gets the job done in keeping you invested and interested in what is going on. There's a good amount of action as well and it's fairly decent and well put together. They're not winning any awards for best action film, but it's serviceable enough. I don't know what else to say, really. I guess I hated the fact that the villains were the stereotypical evil foreigner (plus one American) that felt outdated even in 2008, when this film came out. So you can imagine how behind the times this felt in 2017. This movie plays into every negative stereotype some Americans have of foreign countries. It's not as bad as, say, No Escape, but it's still pretty bad. I think that definitely held the film back as well, I mean they don't really explore any of the characters. I mean, then again, if they did then this movie would have been over two hours long. This movie is better served being 88 minutes long, since it never overstays its welcome. Do they leave you wanting more? I don't know, not really, since everything is resolved very neatly. You don't want more because everything comes to a satisfying enough conclusion. I don't really have much else to say about this movie. The flaws are apparent, but the film moves at such a pace that you never really notice them and the movie, in spite of these flaws, is exciting and never boring to watch. As far as a B-level thriller, I think this works perfectly fine. I wouldn't recommend it, but it's a decent enough watch and it never stays too long at the party.
July 18, 2017
The repetitive nature of the film undermines any of the thrills of watching a terrorist attack unfold from differing perspectives.
July 16, 2017
Ratingnya jelek di 2 kategori pula, critics dan audience. Tapi menurut ane ni film dapet laa uniknya. Super simple tapi out of the box. Why not ?
July 11, 2017
"Rashomon" this is not, but, for an intriguingly plotted, suitably entertaining thriller, this thing works pretty well.
May 30, 2017
U.S. President Henry Ashton (William Hurt) is in Salamanca, Spain, about to address the city in a public square. Shots are fired and the President falls; a few minutes later, we hear a distant explosion, then a bomb goes off in the square. Those minutes are retold, several times, emphasizing different characters' actions. Gradually, we discover who's behind the plot. Is the Secret Service one step ahead, or have the President's adversaries thought of everything?...

Jim Lane, writing in the Sacramento News & Review, said in outward negativity, "It all winds up-or dribbles down-to yet another chase through crowded streets in commandeered cars, with an ending meant to be ironic but simply providing a crowning howler to all the Rube Goldberg nonsense." He emphatically believed, "with all the repetition and a modest 90-minute running time, they run out of ideas before they run out of film." Left unimpressed, Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that the film "has a fractured and frustrating narrative." Unlike Akira Kurosawa's classic film Rashomon, which is structured around multiple retellings of the same event, LaSalle characterizes Vantage Point as "fairly pedestrian, and nothing special is gained from all the stopping and restarting. The title is the tip-off. Aside from the changing-perspectives device, Vantage Point has nothing going on. There's no artistic, philosophical or even jolly entertainment reason for adopting this strategy. It's just arbitrary, a gimmick." Claudia Puig of USA Today, said the "various viewpoints don't quite link up. And they all employ the same rewind technique once unspooled. Stylistically, this laying out of the facts then speedily going back over them in reverse seems initially intriguing, but it gets old after about the fifth time." She even believed that like "many action-adventure movies that are short on plot intricacies but long on gimmick and explosives, too much is given away in the trailer." The film however, was not without its supporters. William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, believed the film was "flat-out one of the more exciting and original gut-busters that Hollywood has produced in many a month. It's virtually all action, but the action is never mindless and it is full of marvelous surprises every step of the way." Richard Corliss of TIME commented that "Vantage Point scored with surprisingly robustness at the wickets, outperforming the predictions of industry analysts and seeming likely to be the weekend's No. 1 attraction." He noted the film is "best seen as straightforward, sometimes harrowing melodrama, packed with mistaken identities, beautiful villains, a kindly tourist who can outrace the bad guys, and a lost little girl whom the film brazenly sends onto a highway full of speeding cars." David Denby of The New Yorker, added to the positive sentiment by saying "Vantage Point is something remarkable-the ultimate case, perhaps, of a movie as a big whirling machine. The writer, Barry L. Levy, and the director, Pete Travis, a Brit who made a TV movie about a bombing in Northern Ireland, may be taking their cues from genre fiction, but no one can say that they haven't beautifully mapped out their turf as a grid of charged vectors.". Writing for The Boston Globe, Ty Burr bluntly noted that the "rewind/retell gambit quickly grows tiresome - we're groaning by the fourth narrative reboot - and, anyway, the device isn't used to question the nature of truth (as it was in Rashomon) but to slowly reveal a nefarious terrorist conspiracy to ... but I can say no more." He thought the end result of the film was "both clever and stupid - an interesting feat." In a mixed review, James Berardinelli writing for ReelViews, called the film a "fast-paced motion picture that fails the 'reality test' but maintains a certain intensity for its entire running length. It's entertaining in the same way that an episode of 24 is entertaining, but without the lead character shouting 'dammit!' every five minutes." Describing an unfavorable opinion, Scott Foundas of The Village Voice said the film encompassed "multiple perspectives" that "are all foreplay, it turns out, for an orgiastic third-act car chase during which the movie's story threads converge in a way that makes Paul Haggis seem like a master of Balzacian realism." Foundas ended his review noting "nothing in Vantage Point quickens the pulse as much as the realization that, with each successive turn of the wheel, we come one step closer to the end." John Anderson of The Washington Post, stated that there were "many places one could lay blame for "Vantage Point." One would be the late Akira Kurosawa, whose original movie version of 'Rashomon' made it chic for filmmakers to create multiple-perspective movies and, since they aren't Kurosawa, drive us crazy." He ultimately came to the conclusion that "no amount of ripening time was going to help this gimmicky and ultimately harebrained movie." Similarly, Justin Chang wrote in Variety that the film circles "endlessly around a political assassination attempt and its violently contrived aftermath, the film proves every bit as crude, nerve-grinding and finally unsalvageable as the car accidents it keeps inflicting on its characters." He did however note, the original holdover slated release for the film in 2007 by Sony was "unlikely to stop traffic around multiplexes despite its attention-getting cast, especially when poor word of mouth takes hold." However, in a more upbeat tone, Owen Gleiberman writing for Entertainment Weekly thought the film was "a pulse-pounding technological showman whose high-strung, quick-cut style might be described as JFK meets Paul Greengrass meets Jerry Bruckheimer. That said, it's not the plot that thickens - it's the pulp." He believed it had "a gripping premise that, for a while, at least, is grippingly executed."

Pete Travis "Vantage Point" has a quite ok ensemble cast including Dennis Quaid, William Hurt, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Édgar Ramírez, Eduardo Noriega and Zoe Saldana, but the problem with the film is the fractured and bloody repetitive narrative with all the multiple perspectives, poor b-movie direction, poor dialogue, cheap clichéridden thrills, chopped up editing and the unbalanced acting. When the fourth perspective is on it´s way you have totally lost the interest in the film and where it´s heading to be honest. Yes, "Vantage Point" explores kidnapping, assassination and terrorism which never goes out of fashion and terrorism has never been more current as a topic. But, this is simply not a film you must see. It´s not unique enough and it´s not entertaining enough. Pass on this one.

Trivia: The film is often compared, unfavorably, to Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, which also employed storytelling through multiple perspectives. Rashomon used the multiple perspectives to question the possibility of truth, in a process called the Rashomon effect; in contrast, Vantage Point recounts a series of events which are re-enacted from several different perspectives and viewpoints in order to reveal a truthful account of what happened.
½ January 30, 2017
really really repetetive
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2016
The premise is interesting, even if not original at all, and there are great action scenes full of energy here to hold our attention, but the film relies on numerous coincidences and the actors are mostly wasted playing poorly developed characters.
½ December 22, 2016
A unique thriller that shows the same story from several different perspectives. It feels like you are solving a puzzle as you learn more from each perspective. (First and only full viewing - In my early twenties)
December 9, 2016
This movie happened in the blink of an eye, and I couldn't keep up with it! What the hell just went down, and how do the characters play through this event?! Don't know if I'll ever see it again.
½ December 3, 2016
The technique of the storytelling is not for everyone but it's a refresher from all of the formulaic plots of other action films.
½ November 14, 2016
The approach is interesting.
½ October 29, 2016
Vraiment bien. La meme histoire racontee de differents points de vue. Palpitant.
October 2, 2016
The critics were too hard on this film. Very exciting and is better watching it the second time around. Worthwhile.
September 30, 2016
This was a pretty good action/suspense movie. It really kept me guessing until the end. The concept was also pretty awesome and well executed.
½ July 9, 2016
I thought is was pretty good. Watched on cable, definitely no blockbuster but good entertainment.
½ June 29, 2016
Cool premise ruined by a shitty storyline. It was over before it even began.
½ June 7, 2016
Pretty fast paced political thriller and I liked the multiple viewpoint idea, although, of course, done before
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