Netflix sure has a lot of films under their belt at this point. Unfortunately, with every great film like Gerald's Game, we get about 3 terrible ones like Ridiculous Six. Now we have Point Blank which is a remake of a terrific French film. Directed by Joe Lynch (a personal favorite of mine), and acting by MCU alums Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo (Another personal favorite of mine), the film ends up being a fun, albeit generic, action/thriller with a pair of likable leads, but doesn't do enough to justify its existence considering how great the original is.
Joe Lynch directs this remake of the high octane original and does so with some finesse, but not enough to keep its relatively brief runtime from feeling a little too long. It is snappy enough, and there's plenty happening in each scene, but the film never really keeps still long enough for us to care about the characters as people. It’s a shame because the original made us feel for the main character almost instantly which this one never really does. There was also a sense of mystery from the original film that is missing from this one. It's very straight forward in a bland and boring kind of way. Again, it's well done but nothing to write home about.
The film follows Paul Booker (Anthony Mackie), an ER Nurse whose pregnant wife is kidnapped by the brother of a mysterious criminal (Frank Grillo) who's being held at the hospital where Paul works. He's tasked to break the brother out of jail in order to save his wife while a pair of homicide detectives are hot on their tail. Nothing too original here, but the story never slows down and there's always something exciting, shocking, or weird that happens to our lead characters. The problem here is the characters aren't entirely interesting, and while the pacing is fast, it doesn't have enough quality action or set pieces to keep you entertained throughout the runtime.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie, while not the greatest characters, are a likable enough team and are fun to watch as they go through probably the worst day of each characters’ lives. The supporting cast is solid as well, with highlights being Marcia Gay Harden playing one of two detectives on the trail of the pair & Markice Moore as the cinephile gangster Big D. Harden actually has a lot more going on with her, and while it's pretty predictable, it's still fun watching Harden play that kind of character. Moore on the other hand is probably my favorite character in the film. What a strange character Big D is. He's a short, loud mouth gangster who loves old cinema and one day wants to make his own film which is something that connects to the story of the film later on in the movie in a satisfying way. He's a fun character that feels a little out of place but still entertaining and memorable.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Point Blank is one of those movies, kinda like Suicide Squad, that feels the need to shove songs in your face during each action sequence. The nice little fight scene in a carwash? Let's shove some R&B in there just to make it seem more entertaining even though it's really not. It's honestly not a bad selection of music too, and sometimes it actually works to the benefit of the movie but too many times it's very obvious that it's just there to give the illusion of fun without actually being fun. The rest of the music, including the score, isn't anything special but does the job and almost sounds like an old 80's buddy cop score, so that's a positive.
Nothing too special here. Obviously a pretty low budget film with not much in terms of effects or makeup. At least nothing that really comes to mind. It sure does look like an average, run of the mill movie, although it is well filmed and has a gritty look to the city, so at least there's that. Besides that fact, there’s not much to talk about positively or negatively about in this section.
Point Blank does very little to add to the original film that it's based on, which makes me wonder why even bother? I guess you could use the excuse that it'll draw more attention to the original, but I highly doubt it. That being said, it's still an enjoyable enough buddy action film with 2 likable leads, a good supporting cast, and some fun set pieces. It's a quick and mildly enjoyable sit.