Point Blank review mediocre action thriller remake lands on Netflix

Anthony Mackie rises above a rickety remake of a French thriller about a wet-nurse teaming up with criminal matters after his wife is kidnapped

In order to create the optimal view suffer for rickety Netflix thriller Point Blank, a quickie remake of the acclaimed 2010 French movie, promises should either be lowered or, even better, eradicated totally. It’s an easy-to-follow strategy given that a) Netflix original films are patchy at best and b) here’s yet another one of them that’s received no kind of marketing move. The Adam Sandler/ Jennifer Aniston comedy Murder Mystery was a solidly enjoyable watch given that it was ” largely agreeable” compared against” totally wretched” like Sandler’s other Netflix titles while Hilary Swank’s sci-fi thriller I Am Mother was a pleasant astonish given that no one truly knew it existed until the day it dropped.

In a different age and with a bit more budget, Point Blank could have been a throwaway January release, probably starring Liam Neeson, but now the best place for it is undeniably Netflix, its undemanding nature and flat aesthetic produce it an appropriate background watch at best. Yet there’s also just enough here to attain me wish it had been that bit better, a serviceable watch with a frustrating throughline tantalizing what have had an opportunity to. The film’s most pronounced ace is superstar Anthony Mackie, taking over the everyman lead from Gilles Lellouche, playing ER nurse Paul, a mortal dealing with long, gory changes at work and a heavily pregnant wife( the ever-underused Teyonah Parris, last underutilised in If Beale Street Could Talk) at home.

His life soon crashes with Abe( Frank Grillo, playing a lampoon of himself ), a case-hardened criminal in his care, suffering from a gunshot weave after what appears to be a botched getaway from a slaying scene. Paul is abruptly dragged in deeper after his wife is kidnapped and Abe’s brother informs him that to get her back safely, he has to break a heavily guarded Abe out of hospital.

At a brisk 86 times, Point Blank doesn’t have time to waste and in the first act, the snappy tempo does give the film a lightfooted slickness, hurling us into the action and fastening our interest with a juicy set-up, one that’s already inspired three other remakings. It likewise intends the clunkier components don’t have much time to stay or, if they do, they furnish some unintentional fun, from the threatening texts always transmitted, for some bizarre reason, in quotation marks (” I’m gonna thrust you thru the heart w a fucking pencil”- BIG D) to the clunky first draft dialogue (” What happens if something happens to my baby ?”). We’re never far out of familiar province( the plot revolves around securing a USB stick) but for a while, the film lunges us along with it anyway.

Anthony Mackie and Marcia Gay Harden in Point Blank. Photograph: Patti Perret/ Netflix

It’s only when the initial flee is out of the style that the engine starts to sputter. The simplicity of the conceit becomes obscured with some instead confusingly inscribed absurdity involving corrupted cops, an unconvincingly grizzled Marcia Gay Harden as the shotgun-toting detective in hot pursuit and a glaringly obvious story twist. Director Joe Lynch can’t quite decide what tone to stick with and alternates between unfunny chum slapstick (” I bet your spouse kidnapped herself” is one of Grillo’s worst quips) and balls-to-the-wall gonzo action movie. Lynch’s background in repugnance does mean he stages some scandalize times of gore with finesse but the action is largely pedestrian and hampered by some ill-fitting 80 s music choices.

The cast is fitted out with Netflix stablemates from Mackie( last-place seen in the” no homo” episode of Black Mirror as well as sci-fi drama IO and next set to fill Joel Kinnaman’s boots in Altered Carbon’s second season) to Grillo( who is leading up 2017′ s Wheelman) to Boris McGiver( Tom Hammerschmidt in House of Card) and also comes with that all-too-familiar cheapness that are affecting many of their movies. As mentioned, Mackie is burning on all cylinders, evidencing yet again he’s an actor worthy of much more than what he’s given and he is afforded some nice pipelines as a boy uncomfortable with being forced into action mode( although Mackie’s buff post-Marvel physique does stir him a rather less convincing everyman that Lellouche ). He also has strong chemistry with Parris, another actor who is yet to receive enough screentime( outside of underrated- and now cancelled- comedy series Survivor’s Remorse) and the pair spark so nicely together than in a only world-wide, they would be headlining a romcom on the side.

Rarely rising above its stoically maintained mediocrity, Point Blank exists simply to pad out Netflix’s ever-expanding library, before they lose so much better of it to Disney+ and HBO Max. There are worse cinemas to invest 86 times with on a Sunday afternoon but, even more importantly, there are also so, so many better ones instead.

  • Point Blank is now on Netflix

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ cinema/ 2019/ jul/ 12/ point-blank-netflix-review-remake-anthony-mackie

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