The Netflix original movie which opens this week is an action thriller not to be confused with the John Boorman 1967 classic crime-noir of the same title POINT BLANK that starred Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson. 1967 POINT BLANK was one of the most well reviewed films of the year, a very violent and unforgettable piece of art. But the Netflix POINT BLANK written by Adam G. Simon and directed by Joe Lynch (who makes B-movies like the little heard MAYHEM) is a remake of 2010 French action–thriller Gaumont film directed by Fred Cavaye which most people would have not seen. Actually, Lynch shows promise. This one has a male nurse played by hunk Anthony Mackie whose pregnant wife (Teyonah Parris) is kidnapped by thugs – a sort of Netflix TAKEN.
The film begins with an apparent hit and murder of a D.A. The apparent intruder (Frank Grillo) is hit by a car while escaping and ends up in hospital where the protagonist an emergency room male nurse, Paul (Anthony Mackie) is working. The intruder’s brother (Christian Cooke) kidnaps the male nurse’s pregnant wife in order for the intruder to be kept alive.
A few action setups are worthy of mention. One is a fight while the two are on a conveyor going through an automatic car wash. It sounds silly but it works. The film contains a few well executed car chases, with good continuity.
Good too that the film offers a black actor well deserving of a leading white role in an action flick. Anthony Mackie should attract a large African American audience as well.
The script also offers the kidnappers a bit of sympathy, a tactic seldom tried. The script also pays homage to the homeless, with one scene where a homeless man helps out the hero.
Lynch’s film is not without humour. One has to love it when out of the blue, the film pays homage to LES SALAIRES DE LA PEUR (THE WAGES OF FEAR), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s suspense classic. The thugs watch this movie when one of them say, “When I becomes a director, I want to make this kind of shit.”
The soundtrack is impressive (Music is by Mitch Lee) ranging from rap to yes, Motown. ABC’s “The Look of Love” is played while the baby is delivered.
Two good performances to watch – Anthony Mackie’s and Oscar Winner Marcia Gay Harden’s, the latter who steals the show. To say more of her role would only spoil a plot twist. The buddy buddy nurse/ bad guy interplay works well too.
“You think killing me would make any difference? You have no idea how high this goes.” is the only defence the villain can use. But there is a good rebuttal (not mentioned in the review).
POINT BLANK is an entertaining enough action thriller, slick, fast and occasionally cliched that should keep not too demanding Netflix viewers satisfied.