By Fred Topel | Images property of Columbia Pictures.
I would love to say that everyone who sees Vantage Point will have a different point of view, and let that be the stupidest thing ever said relating to the movie. Unfortunately, it is plenty stupid on its own and most viewers will have pretty much the same point of view.
Movie Review: Vantage Point
The rewinding gag is just too cute and too proud of itself. Just cut back to the beginning. Respect us for knowing that we're seeing the same thing from another angle. The audience laughed every time the shot returned to the ticking digital time display, rightfully so.
It's all gimmick and no substance. Who cares about this president, what the agent sees, who the mystery character is? It only exists for the sake of the gimmick. That's fine if the gimmick is awesome, but this gimmick doesn't even know how to execute.
One character will see shocking things that are not going to be revealed until later. It's so obvious. If the only thing creating mystery is the fact that you're not cutting to the reverse shot, you don't have much of a story. If you want to keep secrets, you have to be better than just omitting the shot that shows the secret. That's not storytelling.
They don't even get their own tricks right though. By the time we see what's on the viewscreen that the agent gasped at earlier, the actual events have already been seen by other point of views. Is it hard to follow that sentence? Hard to figure out what I'm complaining about? Don't worry about it.
By the way, there are only six segments, not eight as promised. Although the final segment starts with a double point of view, which is cheating but who cares? Then it switches points of view at random, jumping into new characters who weren't even established as players, even backtracking to other points of view it's already shown. So the movie even loses itself.
At this point, they should have shown even more perspectives. What about the tourist's wife, just hearing things on her end of the phone? That should have played over the closing credits.
One segment involves a stupid kid standing in the middle of the freeway. It ends with a sh*tty car chase and a political message. Now come on. 24 can talk about politics because it's awesome. Vantage Point makes Rendition look subtle.
The generic action dialogue is unforgiveable in this context. "This never should've happened." "Except that it did, and it was on our watch." And is there a school that teaches this generic thriller score so that every composer learns how to do the exact same thing?
They touch on an interesting issue in the president's story, but that's irrelevant to the time point of view gimmick. Really, the only positive thing to say is that it was a true crowd pleaser, because they went wild every time the movie went back to the beginning. Oh, and Matthew Fox has the best initials ever.