Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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How I spent my Saturday night

Things We Learn from Vantage Point:

* Presidents have been using body doubles "since Reagan";

* Whoever was doing Sigourney Weaver's makeup hates her;

* Anamaria can't ever catch a break;

* Secret Service agents have no problem shooting into crowds in hopes of hitting suspects;

* Hey, it's Bruce! Bruce! I love you Bruce! BRUUUUCE!

* Spanish cops are impervious to being hit by cars multiple times;

* Lead actors are impervious to being hit by explosions;

* You can shoot a president of your choice with an iPhone;

* A single Spanish ninja dude can take out a hallway full of Secret Service agents;

* Forest Whitaker can not only keep up with the Secret Service on foot but also outrun a speeding ambulance;

* A terrorist will have no problem blowing up a plaza full of people, but running over a single little girl is simply beyond the pale;

* Little girls are STUPID;

* Crazy Evil Matthew Fox is hot.

You know how movies stick with you for days afterwards? This didn't stick with me because it was good, exactly--it stuck with me because I kept remembering different parts and going, "Yeah, what the hell was that?" The whole idea is that the president is shot, the Plaza Mayor blows up hard! blows up big! blows up good!, people run around and shoot at each other and rewind video and die, and we go back and watch the entire sequence about six different times from different characters' perspectives because by God we paid for that explosion and we're gonna get our money's worth. Which is an interesting premise; it just wasn't executed as well as it could have been. There were a couple of really interesting, well-done moments--Sigourney Weaver and Forest Whitaker have really powerful reactions to the initial shooting because they are great actors, and they also have what may be the most interesting perspectives--the news producer and the camera-toting bystander. Certainly, they're interesting in the sense that those are the versions where you feel like you're watching something real happen; the Secret Service and terrorist versions tend to lapse into action-movie silliness. And speaking of silliness, a telenovela suddenly breaks out in the first quarter of the movie. Like, the actual style of the movie changes for a moment--there's lots of smoldering and face-grabbing and nostril-flaring and sexy castanets. Intentional? Maybe. Hilarious? YES.

(I tend to think it was unintentional, because if the filmmakers had had that kind of sense of humor, the line "GET OUTTA MY AMBULANCE!!" would have put in as the climax of the movie.)

Speaking of hilarity, there is a car chase--which is intense in a very competent action-movie way--and Dennis Quaid is pursuing Matthew Fox, and let me tell you, hell hath no fury like a Secret Service agent scorned, because it's about twenty minutes solid of dodging and smashing and tire-squealing through the streets of Salamanca (or "Salamanca"), and then Matthew Fox does something that pisses Dennis Quaid off FOR REAL, I forget what exactly, and the sequence of camera shots goes a little something like:

TRAFFIC TRAFFIC TRAFFIC - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - INTERSECTION OMG

BANG BANG - - - - - - - - - - - TRAFFIC HOLY SHIT - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - MATTHEW FOX OH NOES

SMASH SMASH WTF - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

--> --> --> --> --> --> DENNIS QUAID FACE OF RAAAAGE!!!!

The entire audience basically fell over laughing. It is perhaps the most awesome thing I have seen since the last time I actually saw a decent movie sweet God that was so long ago, and if I can find screencaps, I will share them with the world.

As a side note, Dennis Quaid and William Hurt had this sudden, out-of-the-blue chemistry in the last scene of the movie. They're not together much before that, and even when they are, Quaid is being all stoic and chiseled and Secret and shit. But at the end--I know this joke is beyond tired now, but when Quaid reaches into the ambulance to help Hurt out, a glow of tender joy in his eyes, I wish I could quit you, Mr. President is writ large over the whole thing. ("Are you injured, sir?" "Only in my heart, Agent Barnes.") If I'm allowed to make only one Brokeback Mountain joke this year, I deem Vantage Point worthy of it. That's how crazy it was.

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Tags: movie discussion, movies

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