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Vantage Point (Single-Disc Edition)
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Product Description

As the president arrives in salamanca gunshots ring out. An american tourist has captured footage of te would-be assassin on videotape & now as the stories of the other four witnesses unfold each piece of the puzzle falls into place. Only when all the stories are told will the shocking truth finally emerge. Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 12/23/2008 Starring: Forest Whitaker William Hurt Run time: 90 minutes Rating: Pg13

Vantage Point, which aspires to be a cunningly twisted thriller, comes equipped with plenty of hurtling action, handheld camerawork, what-was-that? editing, and a plot that has multiple, contradictory agendas writhing like a nest of snakes. It's all set a-boil within a few blocks of a town square in Spain where a U.S. President is targeted for assassination. Although the movie lasts 90 minutes, the events it depicts are mostly over with in a quarter-hour or so--but seen, rewound, and reseen from half a dozen different (you guessed it) vantage points. The first line in the credits reads "Original Film," apparently the name of the production company. "Gimmick Movie" would be more accurate; the opening reel, effectively jolting, affords an initial overview of the events through the eyes, lenses, monitors, and dueling sensibilities of a TV news producer (Sigourney Weaver), her activist-minded reporter (Zoe Saldana) and crew. Everybodys in Salamanca (actually, Mexico City) for the start of an international conference to reaffirm Arab-Western commitment to the fight against terrorism. Terrorism, of course, sees this as an ideal moment to break out. As gunshots and explosions reduce everything to chaos, the clock is reset to zero and we proceed to revisit the scene as experienced by several Secret Service agents (namely Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox), an American tourist with camcorder (Forest Whitaker), sundry locals--including three who may be caught up in a love triangle or a conspiracy or both--and even the President himself (William Hurt).

For a while, this is mildly diverting: that guy, or that gesture, so sinister when glimpsed across the plaza in one run-through, now appears harmless in close-up--or vice versa. But there's no real ambiguity (so stop with the careless comparisons to Kurosawa's Rashomon)--this is a shell game in which the peas aren't worth tracking. Despite decent actors, the characters might as well be holograms (although poor Forest Whitaker is saddled with "motivation" of surpassing sappiness), and the casting telegraphs several twists: one redoubtable good guy practically gives a wink-wink, nudge-nudge that he's really bad, etc. The movie declines to specify which nutjob philosophy the terrorists espouse, and their numbers are multi-ethnic. There's also a laborious suggestion that they have bloodthirsty, reactionary counterparts among the President's inner circle, which perhaps qualifies as redeeming socio-political comment and prompts a meaningless declaration of deep meaning from the Prez. The whole megilleh finally comes down to an extended car chase through impassably claustrophobic streets that would mark a lurch into unintentional self-parody--if only that point hadn't been passed a couple of rewinds earlier. --Richard T. Jameson

Stills from Vantage Point (click for larger image)

Customer Reviews:

  • Ground Hog Day meets The French Connection
    This film recycles the same event over and over, each time adding a tiny plot twist burried in repetitive material. Each recycle starts with a clock dispay a la Ground Hog Day - all that's missing is the radio playing "I've Got You, Babe" and a little entertainment value. After they have recycled the same event to death and you are ready to hit the stop button if they show that darned clock one more time, they move on to a car chase that just goes on, and on, and on, as the excitement gradually fades into fatigued boredom. Do yourself a favor and skp this one....more info
  • Fascinating and totally edge of your seat
    I had read all the reviews that said the story was boring because of the format of the movie. Yet we did not experience this at all. In fact we were completely captivated throughout the entire flick. My wife and I found it to be really exciting!

    Each time the story "reset" so that you could see it from another vantage point, it was like an entirely new story that gave you more pieces of a puzzle. Like a puzzle, you're given more pieces until you can see the full story. It just became more and more exciting and even nerve wracking because it was an intense story. One segment built upon another, and led to a very exciting and edge of your seat ending. We never found it to be repetitive or boring.

    This is a movie that makes you think. The concept of the format was creative and intelligent. Of course it's also full of action, and it has well developed characters that you really come to care about. The acting was excellent.

    I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes mysteries, suspense and some action. However you may have to think a bit, so keep that in mind! This may not be a good movie for you if you're looking to have a couple of mindless hours to decompress or relax. I do enjoy that type of movie as well, but this isn't one of those.

    ...more info
  • Excellant
    I rented this movie while on vacation and have ordered it to have at home. I will watch it with anyone that will watch it with me. I couldn't keep my eyes off it. You, actually can't take your eyes off or you might miss something. Very action filled and a most enjoyable movie....more info
  • Political Thriller with a Gimmick
    "Vantage Point" is not a boring way to spend ninety minutes. It has an excellent cast featuring a couple of Academy Award winners, and it has special effects that harken back to the days when car chases really looked hazardous and explosions looked like they happened to buildings rather than in a computer.

    That being said, all the characters are two-dimensional, and the plot is as well. It just finished raining for about 15 minutes and the puddle outside my door is deeper than this movie.

    The central story surrounds an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, played by William Hurt, while he is attending an historic anti-terrorism summit in Spain. The film's central gimmick is that the same twenty minute period are shown repeatedly from several different perspectives. The filmmakers insult the intelligence of the audience by "fast-rewinding" each twenty minute segment before starting on the "next perspective", so you know you're going backward in time, you know...

    Each segment adds new information to what came before, and each segment extends what happened before by a few moments, until finally the "rewinding" stops and enough viewpoints have been introduced to allow a pretty exciting car chase with secret agents chasing bad guys and an ambulance holding the President being driven by more bad guys.

    The first segment stars Sigourney Weaver as a tv news director covering the summit while choreographing her cameramen and the anchor, played by Zoe Saldana, who wants to cover the anti-American protestors as much as the Presidential summit. After the President is shot there are two more explosions, the second one laying waste to the entire plaza and apparently killing everyone except for the handful of people whose viewpoints we are following.

    The second segment follows secret service men Taylor and Barnes, played by Matthew Fox and Dennis Quaid. Many are surprised to see Quaid's Barnes there - a year earlier he was shot in another attempt on the President, and this is his first time back in the saddle.

    Other segments follow American tourist Howard Lewis, played by Forest Whitaker, and the Spanish Mayor's bodyguard, played by Edgar Ramirez. A final segment takes us behind the scenes with the President and his political advisors before rewinding one final time and letting the story play forward.

    The terrorists behind the attack are shown to be more cunning and apparently better equipped than the forces around the President, but they are also paper-thin caricatures and other than a few throwaway lines about how long the war on terrorism has been going on, motivations are also as shallow as that puddle I mentioned earlier....more info
  • It was good
    I watched this movie at my sister's and I've kind of liked it. Going back home I decided to buy it just for fun. My family and I watch this movie ocasionally when we have nothing else to do, and still enjoy it....more info
  • You Need All Viewpoints to End the Journey
    VANTAGE POINT is a dramatic action film told from multiple points of view. The movie is set in Spain and revolves around the President of the United States as he delivers an important speech during an anti-terrorism summit. The movie follows the President of the United States (William Hurt), two Secret Service agents (Dennis Quaid & Matthew Fox) sworn to protect him, and several bystanders in the crowd (including Forest Whitaker). During the delivery of his message, an attempted assassination attempt is made which is soon followed by other attacks. What follows is a loud and chaotic mess as agents and officials attempt to figure out what is going on.

    The movie tells its story by showing a sequence of action from one character's particular point of view, then rewinding to where the story started but seen from the eyes of another character, or "vantage point". Each time this happens the audience learns a new piece of information that can help in unraveling the puzzle or further confuse. This isn't a new technique, but it is one that is rarely seen.

    I enjoyed VANTAGE POINT. The acting is top-caliber and the story has just the right mix of action and suspense. The story offers enough clues that those with Holmesian detective skills can figure out what's going on earlier in the movie, but leaving enough loose ends open to still be able to enjoy the movie. When I first saw VANTAGE POINT in theatres, the crowd groaned after the action rewound for the third time back to the starting point. That was a good thing because it illustrated that they were saw involved with the story that they wanted to see it continue to its conclusion.

    In short, an entertaining dramatic action movie with superb acting that uses a unique method to tell its story....more info
  • Coign of Vantage
    Fete of Death
    I rather liked the thriller "Vantage Point." The repetition of the movie's story from the different points of view of the main characters affords the movie a nightmarish quality. It's like you have to keep reliving a nightmare over and over making it that much more hellish, the tension mounting with each reliving. You feel trapped with no escape. You know what's going to happen and there's nothing you can do about it. The strands of the plot come together plausibly when the ambulance careens toward the little girl on the street, and in the ensuing violence and car crashes the story is resolved satisfactorily....more info
  • The Presiden't Been Shot ...Again and Again and Again and Again and Again!
    The problem with VANTAGE POINT is that it doesn't take into consideration two very important things: the point of view of the watcher, and a believable storyline. Let me explain...

    Seeing a situation/crime/etc. from different points of view might be interesting to some. But if you're going to do that, you need to make sure that there are engaging points that aren't repeated ad nauseam. You might think that four or five points of view would be the maximum allowable for something like this. And you'd probably be right. But how about six? Or seven? Too many? Would you believe this one has eight?! Far, far, far too many. And they all start just about the same place, which grated on the nerves after a short while.

    The storyline is pretty ridiculous, too. Doppleganger Presidents. Double Secret Service agents. Terrorists who need to hire an assassin. And an ending that is pure schlock.

    Not being that much of a fan of Dennis Quaid didn't help matters for me either -- the only two films with him in them that I enjoyed were Enemy Mine and The Big Easy. The rest of his movie repertoire is questionable to say the least; Jaws 3-D, Yours, Mine & Ours, The Day After Tomorrow, etc.

    I will say, however, that the action was fun to watch. And seeing William Hurt (Into the Wild) get shot multiple times was pretty enjoyable, too. But that's where my enjoyment stopped. Matthew Fox (Speed Racer) as agent Kent Taylor was completely miscast and unbelievable. But probably the most miscast of all the characters was Forest Whitaker. Having seen Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, I know what he's capable of. Here, he seemed like an overweight but athletic American out of his league carrying a video camera through Spain because ...well ...we're not sure.

    The big and final letdown was the ending of this film. If terrorists are prepared to kill, maim, and destroy innocent people in order to get to the President of the United States, would running over a girl stop them? I doubt that. Which made me nearly turn off the film. But we had to have a happy ending, sweet and sticky, with Quaid saving the day. Ugh....more info
  • Stunningly-Pieced Puzzle
    What begins as a news-view of a terrorist attack on a summit in Spain takes on multiple dimensions through different witness viewpoints. Each vantage point retells the event in added detail, combining into a multi-faceted story of amazing depth and clarity. The stories are built in logical sequence, but each focus bringing new twists. They combine to a breath-taking climax that brings all the stories together.

    The telling of Vantage point is different from other thrillers, and the pace throughout is compelling, fast, and intelligent. Aside from violent content, it's a DVD you can enjoy without being assaulted by inappropriate material. It's a great movie to see over again, as you continue to see the connections that lead to a stunning climax....more info
  • Great movie with great bonus features.
    Without spoiling the movie, the idea of going over the same events from several different characters separate points of view really works. It is fun trying to figure out who the good and bad guys are.

    The bonus feature that lets you track each characters movement as the action unfolds really lets you see the detail and effort the film makers put into trying to make sure that everything happens in the right place at the right time.

    The movie is 4 stars, the bonus features get it the fifth....more info
  • Great movie!
    Oh this is such a great movie! Ok again I will say this, not everyone has the same tastes or else we would agree on everything right? So I'm speaking from my point of view. Definitely worth watching! ...more info
  • There's no point to it at all
    I bought Vantage Point in a '3 DVDS for 15' sale at the supermarket. Always a bad sign, especially if a film's only been out a month or so... but I'm a sucker for a bargain, and anyway, the cast looked good.

    Another giveaway for a 'stinker' is the running time. This one clocks in at only 80 minutes, suggesting it has been butchered by a despairing crew in the editing suite, who realised its flimsy one-dimensional story couldn't possibly stand up for any longer than this. Or even, indeed, that it collapsed on its weedy pencil-thin legs within 10 minutes and lay there floundering on its back like an irritating cockroach just waiting to be squished.

    So.. just 80 minutes long. It gets a bonus star for not wasting too much of my life.

    But then it loses three when you discover that the first 50 minutes of it is seeing the same sequence over and over again, from the viewpoints of different characters.

    Quite why this was done, or what it added to the plot, is beyond me.
    I thought there'd be some breathtaking double whammy at the end where, for example, they were all in it together, or that we had to piece together cleverly written clues in each segment to reveal the true shock-horror conspiracy behind the sequence of events, or something.

    But no. That was way beyond the hyper young fools behind this project. What you see is a flat one-dimensional storyline, with a dull seen-it-all-before car chase tagged on it at the end. And, er, that's it.

    None of the characters have any depth. They all do ludicrous out-of-character things at critical moments. The good guy who's really a bad guy is obvious from the moment you see him. And the plot is riddled with more holes than a bullet-riddled sieve.

    But just why is it so bad? Have we any more clues on this DVD?

    If you can bear it, I suggest you just watch a bit of the 'making of' extra on the DVD and reel back in open-mouthed horror and astonishment at the young stupid boys behind this project.

    A director who looks about 20 years old with a wild 'kewpie doll' orange haircut.

    A scriptwriter whose loving description of his masterpiece resembles that of a rather thick third-former trying to convince his teacher that his English essay isn't the crock of C-minus doggie-doo that everybody else in the class knows it is.

    A shedload of other young 'creatives' all doing their jobs on the set, all indulging themselves in the most criminal waste of money since the banks collapsed on both sides of the Atlantic.

    How in the name of God did these talentless berks get a multi-million pound budget to blow on their lamebrain schoolboy drivel?

    The final indignity is to watch the 'Making Of' feature and see the likes of Sigourney Weaver, who really should know better, sit there all breathless and wide-eyed and animated, desperately hyping it up as some sort of 'must-see thriller of the year', when she knows and we know and anyone with an ounce of brain cells in his bonce knows she and her fellow stars are vamping up a pile of old bilgewater... and are only babbling in this crazy manner as part of their contractual duties to promote the film.

    It's the best acting you'll see on this whole DVD....more info
  • 2.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    Vantage Point doesn't have much going for it aside from the fact that it's not actually that bad; it's very forgettable and certainly doesn't offer any deep political insights, but it's a watchable thriller with a neat gimmick so you could do worse....more info
    'Vantage Point' is a quick paced action film with an interesting rewind the scene camera view to another character's point of view who is involved in the story. What I enjoyed so much about this film is that there is no padding! The film clocks in at less than an hour and a half and doesn't waste a second of film time. The acting is on point and the action and scenery are beautifully done. If you liked 'Memento' you might like this smart and intriguing little mystery/action film!...more info
  • great movie
    this is a great movie to have for your collection. the blu ray picture and sound is great....more info
  • Great action film with new twists
    Frankly, I thought this movie was one of the most inventive action films of the 2000's. It didn't follow the typical, tired formula that so many films have these days- a man running for his life from an evil corporation, etc. Boring.

    No. This movie shows the viewpoint of several people at an American Presidential address given in Spain. In these frightening global times, it played on my fears while entertaining me immensely. It made me think. The acting was great. It was fast-paced. You have to pay attention every moment of the movie. And it is relatively short- it got to the point quickly, in every scene.

    Dennis Quaid has really grown as an actor, and it shows in this film. As he's aged, he's taken on a seriousness and an undercurrent of being in authority that I like a lot. He is still capable of displaying the vulnerability that makes him such a versatile actor, as well.

    William Hurt, who plays the President, is (as usual) also excellent. He gave an understated performance that embodies the times we live in.

    Forrest Whittaker provided a sweetness and innocence in his role as a bystander that was a good counter to the plot, which was so fraught with intrigue and deception.

    This is a must-watch movie!...more info
  • Gimmicky but exciting at the end.
    While it repeats like a bad meal, Vantage Point is decently directed and the final sequence--although 110% predictable--is pretty damn exciting. This may be a stretch but I detected an underlying message about the value of human life, in the midst of all that chaos....more info
  • Warning: I say again WARNING
    Sorry, but this must clearly be the most a..inine action movie ever made. Nothing makes sense in this flic, the viewer has to watch the same incident over and over again. If you enjoy things like this , get "Crash", a truly great one, but please stay away from vantage point. How the otherwise excellent cast has been coerced into signing up for this film is beyond me (did the Spanish Tourism Office pay them off?). The movie starts with a TV crew and their reporter in the crowd. She gets blown up and everyone is shocked, but nowhere is this thread being taken up again towards the end and the "unravelling" of the plot. There really is not much of a plot. A long unbelievable car chase, that is about it. Lordhavemercy, how could this one be produced. Get yourself a good comic book and you will have more fun. I am stuck in a town called Swords in Ireland where there is nothing to do after work except pub or mall, and I ended up wasting 6 Euro on this baby, please, dont make this mistake too.Sorry, fans....more info
  • Misdirection Insurrection
    Vantage Point was fun to watch. I thought that the way Director Pete Travis told the story was cool.

    The first hour of the movie is basically a loop of the same action, but from various different perspectives, or Vantage Points, of several key players that witness a diabolical scheme to assassinate The President of the United States.

    You may know already that one of my biggest pet peeves is spoilers. I hate spoilers. And I'm not about to write one out here so don't worry. But if you've ever seen the trailer for Vantage Point and then watch the movie, you'll be like, "why the heck did they give away that critical twist?" In fact, the trailer for this movie goes so far as to (deliberately) misdirect you into preconceiving who the bad guys are.

    But why??? Did the director or producers think that their movie would be too obvious and predictable without the misdirection? I don't think it would have been. On the contrary, the misdirection made Vantage Point seem like it would be another one of the many government conspiracy theory movies. But it's not. And I think that the marketing of this movie contributed to its lackluster box office performance.

    Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox are great. Forest Whitaker's character is completely in, it's hard to swallow a single action that Whitaker's character makes. William Hurt is The President, but seemed like he was in an Altered State.

    All in all, I'd recommend catching this, but if you've got to choose, whatever your other choice is might top Vantage Point...from this perspective.

    ...more info
  • Non-formulaic and untypical
    I was fully expecting a typical Hollywood "politically-correct" movie when I watched this, along the lines of "the only enemy is the CIA and the corporations", etc. What I got was a thrill-ride and a non-formulaic film that kept me guessing. Sure, the movie is a bit artificial in spots, but overall, I loved the multiple angle, multiple points of view thing. It was sort of like "Run, Lola Run", combined with "Bourne Identity". Thumbs up ! ...more info
  • Highly contrived, inconsistent, uninvolving
    What one expects from such a movie is that some events are initially misinterpreted and that others assume increasing significance. However, here the inconsistencies, illogic and absurdities pile up at an annoying pace (see other reviews for examples). This prevented me from having any investment in the story.

    The underlying sequence of events is not that substantial (in addition to painfully contrived). Consequently, the different vantage points have a disproportionate amount of repetition relative to the new information that is layered on. My reaction at the end was "Is that all there was?"...more info
  • Lots to like.
    Yes, there is a lot to like about this movie. Big names playing small parts, and the reverse. Not a lot of acting but a good story line, and lots of things happening at once. At one point I was quite taken by surprise. It took me a bit of time to realize the importance of the replays but they're absolutely necessary to the theme as they provide the different "vantage point" of the title, which I found interesting and unique. Try it, I think you'll like it. I did. ...more info