Pregnant wife, check. Upcoming promotion, check. Corrupt, murderous cops who've kidnapped said wife and future mother? Check. The French thriller À bout portant (Point Blank) is a fast-paced thriller that races from one action sequence to the next but fails to capitalize on its twists and turns.
Gilles Lellouche stars as Samuel, an almost-nurse who inadvertently rescues an unnamed patient from a murder attempt. Next thing he knows, his wife has been kidnapped and he's been instructed to break the patient (Roschdy Zem) - an alleged criminal and fugitive - from custody. With multiple sets of bad guys and the police pursuing him, Sam races to save his wife.
Under the direction of Fred Cavayé, Point Blank works at a fast clip, barely ever stopping to catch its breath. In fact, it never does. The movie begins in the middle of an action scene and accelerates from there.
It's a gift and a curse.
As far as action-thrillers are concerned, Point Blank is entertaining and exciting. It's an effective thriller. But it moves so fast that Cavayé fails to capture and convey the importance of the twists and turns he unleashes upon the audience. Had he allowed the story to breathe, to given more time to set up certain situations that unfold during the plot, the twists could have been much more revelatory and potentially mind-blowing. As is, each turn is glossed over as an expected plot device, no more weight given to them than a line of dialogue.
Still, Point Blank is a fun, fast and furious thriller that will satisfy most action fans. Don't be scared by the subtitles - you'll barely need them.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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