Point Blank (UK - BD RB)
Marcus makes some desperate choices for this review and then runs...
Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) saves a patient's life at his hospital but when that patient turns out to be a man (Roschdy Zem) caught up in some criminal dealings his underworld enemies decide to kidnap his savior's wife (Elana Anaya) and use Samuel to get their man out of the hospital and into their grasp. Reluctantly forced into a corner, Samuel helps his patient escape but one bad decision leads to another and soon Samuel finds himself on the run and saving his wife becomes increasingly more difficult.
Point Blank is a a pretty routine thriller without all that many thrills and a plot that keeps on adding layers until the end goal of saving this poor man's wife becomes something I wanted just to wrap this all up as opposed to a dramatic endgame the film wanted to see achieved.
Our lead is never quite enough downtime for us to get behind his character and when he is underway with his on again off again acquaintance with the criminal he saved or the seemingly endless routine of running, hiding for a bit and then running again, the story just keeps going and never gives this guy time to sit down and think through what the hell is going on.
Sadly the twists and turns aren't strong enough to make this all that exciting. Typical things like crooked cops and underworld dealings are all pretty lazy. The action thrown at us (like an underground station chase and a police station chase and a few other chases) are all pretty routine and for a thriller that's about a husband trying to save a pregnant wife I never felt any connection to the drama that this plot device should automatically generate.
Outside of me not really feeling the movie, it's a well handled thriller that keeps everything pretty real world but somehow it wasn't hard enough to get by without the big action sequences the flashier thrillers serve up. Something about this mediocre tale needed some clout, whether it be a bit of gore or some harder fights. Something about the situation never felt threatening enough and when a trainee nurse can pull all this stuff off without all that much effort beyond running faster than the people after him, the pay off never quite hit for me.
For the most part Point Blank is a natural looking movie, the filmic grain sits well with the realistic skin tones and the slightly heightened colour palette, usually comprising of blues and greys. Details are a little under par for the most part, with HD favourites such as stubble never really feeling all that defined and rarely calling attention to each strand as it can do in some of the better presentations. Later in the movie there’s an interior scene that calls in some bright yellow/orange lighting giving the image a bit of a brighter pop especially against the deep red paint on the walls and there's a keen bit of blatant advertising for an Audi with a rising sun behind it. Even though the visuals drop back to the basics after these show off moments it has to be said that in the closing scenes there’s a pretty striking close up of Lellouche's face that really does glow. The light in his eyes pop, his scars and bruises look fantastic and that stubble that was so flat before really springs to life. Overall, Point Blank is a solid HD presentation but it never does much to call attention to itself really.
The typically thrillerlish score here isn't all that exciting. Sure it raises tension when it needs to but with a lack of dynamic elements it sometimes feels like it's just sitting there doing its thing as opposed to heightening the events on screen. For the most part most the DTS-HD Master Audio track lives in the front speakers with the dialogue always outweighing the score (in all but one scene where Samuel is dragged away from his wife which amps up the emotion in the score). Sound effects also feel a little low unless they take up a big part of frame, such as showers or busy streets. Thriller staples such as cars beeping their horns as they screech or subway trains hurtling by all sound pretty good but I wouldn't say they ever reached the level of 'aggressive' even if the story tries to make them feel that way. Once again this element of the presentation is simply doing its job. There's no real highlights just slight peaks in volume, everything else is pretty much doing the bare minimum.
The making of (50:01 SD) is a great look at the film's production with plenty of input from the director and loads of on set footage as the film gets made and the set pieces are constructed. There's also a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer (2:13 SD). Lastly there's a trailer for Anonymous.
I'm not the easiest crowd to please when it comes to the "running seems the best option" thrillers so don't take my luke warm response to Point Blank as anything too negative, it's just a personal thing. Talking objectively, nothing really big happens in this one and the layers of plot there are seem to hamper the drama of the central premise, a guy trying to save his pregnant wife. The Blu-ray looks okay with no obvious negatives, it's just a little bland and never tries to show off (unless it's advertising cars). It does come with a pretty good making of though.
* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 3rd October 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 French, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1English
Subtitles: English, English (Hard of Hearing)
Extras: Making of, Gallery, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Fred Cavaye
Cast: Gilles Lellouche, Eklena Anaya, Roschdy Zem
Genre: Action and Drama
Length: 80 minutes
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