Point Blank

Movies , Thriller
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Point Blank

Nurse trainee Samuel (Lellouche) agrees to smuggle out a felonious patient, Sartet (Zem), after the former's pregnant wife (Anaya) is abducted by thugs as a ransom. Being an unlikely (and therefore extremely likely) skull-thwacking hero, every-homme Samuel quickly descends into a seedy labyrinth of high-class crime and cold-blooded corruption, with the fearsome Sartet sliding between ally and enemy as black-leather-clad cops shoot on sight and the life of his family hangs in the balance.

Forget the vintage style-to-burn Gallic policiers of Jean-Pierre Melville, or the John Boorman crime classic with which it shares a name: this proudly B-grade French thriller is utterly lacking in ambition, if not enthusiasm. It's a nonstop movie that's nonetheless more captivatingly caffeinated than compelling, with director Fred Cavay (Anything for Her) only proficiently, and at times downright ineptly, staging the requisite Mexican standoffs and cut-and-paste chase sequences. The filmmaker's greatest assets are his two leading men, physically adept performers with two of the best mugs in international cinema: Zem, with his Gregory Hines bedroom eyes and full spectrum of scowl, quietly counterbalances the film's skittishness, while Lellouche expresses Samuel's ambivalent heroism with a hard brow and a softy smile. Point Blank fires nothing but blanks in the end, dealing in increasingly ludicrous plot twists and one fizzle of a finale. (All hail the mighty zip drive!) As vacant diversions go, however, it at least has spirit.

Folow Eric Hynes on Twitter: @eshynes

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Release details

Rated: R
Release date: Friday July 29 2011
Duration: 84 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Fred Cavayé
Cast: Roschdy Zem
Gilles Lelouche
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